The Making Of The Blurb for Ocean Heart

I enjoyed creating my blurb. It’s the little short enticing summary that goes on the back cover of a printed book.

Over the years I’ve tweaked it but now I’m self publishing it was important to get feedback from others.

This post is going to share with you my original blurb through to the final version. I hope you find the feedback useful for writing any blurb.

ORIGINAL

Tag line:  

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to “It’s complicated!”

Blurb:

One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and her guardian Gwyn is meddling in her life using magic.  Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid with dangerous powers. 

When your love life’s a mess and your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

ELEXIS VERSION 

The first offer help was author Elexis Bell. She has published several novels, and various genres.

Okiedoke. If it’s at the end, I might leave mermaid out of the blurb. But that’s just me. Also, I love the play on words with being a mermaid bringing new depth to it’s complicated. I only dropped it from the blurb because it’s already going to be on the front of the book.

Here’s what I came up with. If you don’t like it (or only like parts of it), no worries. 😊

Blurb:

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

When a single kiss reveals Mariah’s true form, she learns that mixing a messy love life with deadly powers fuelled by emotion might be more than she bargained for.

AMENDED VERSION 1

Blurb:  

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers might be more than she bargained for.

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is an imminent disaster waiting to happen.  

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm of trouble.  

Then I received feedback from Marketing Genius Michelle Raab, and Romantic Suspense author Cassidy Reyne, and Editor and Epic Fantasy author Kara S Weaver.

MICHELLE’S SUGGESTIONS

More than she could have imagined … ?

CASSIDY SUGGESTIONS 

…can cause/create/whip up a storm of trouble?

KARA’S SUGGESTIONS 

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team’s star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Throw her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets in the mix, ordinary comes close, but all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later and it is then Mariah discovers she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm. Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

KARA FEEDBACK 

There’s a lot of will going on in the last sentence….

Can Mariah contain it, or will she be… that might help some

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then Contemporary Fantasy author J D Groom offered some suggestions…

JODIE’S COMMENT

I like it! I’m not sure about the middle paragraph though 🤔

Something about starting with ‘especially’ doesn’t sit right.

Maybe something like, ‘Added to that her guardian, Gwyn, is using magic to keep secrets…’ etc

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian, Gwyn is using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then, I noticed during the edits I’d lost a speech mark. I was also running every edit past my hubby and his best mate Dale to get their feedback too. It was done & I sent it to my cover designer…

Except, my Cover Designer (Original Book Cover Designs) had feedback for me too. I was not done.

She had a whole formula to share with me and examples of where it had been done well to illustrate what she meant. She really had gone above and beyond what I’d commissioned her for. But, it’s too long for this post & I didn’t seek her permission to share her secrets. But, it meant more editing…


AMENDED VERSION 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Mariah is a regular highschool teen, or that’s what she thinks.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian is using magic to keep Mariah safe from a probable future of reapers coming for a soul, or merblood being spilt by a vengeful werewolf. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, first love, and self acceptance. Join Mariah as she awakens!

As it had been edited I sought more feedback. Cassidy, Kara and Richenda were able to give me pointers.

AMENDED VERSION 2 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood.  But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later. Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

An exciting coming of age story about a mermaid and romance that literally sparks.  

FEEDBACK FROM KARA

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  Between a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood. (This is an odd sentence. You kinda want a ‘When a…. , she …’ structure to build up tension. Like: When Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic to keep her safe from the soul reapers and a merblood hunting werewolf, she learns there’s more to this world he is not willing to share). But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later (, and she’s about to discovers hers!). Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, self acceptance, and romance that literally sparks.

Hi Allison,

Sorry, I had a look at your blurb and I thought it could use a bit of tightening to amp up the tension in the text. Sorry if I’m too forward, I just want to help.

Kara also spotted during the edits that an apostrophe had been lost.

FINAL VERSION:  

I thought I was finally done and sent it off to my cover designer again. Then, I spotted that ‘high school’ didn’t have a space. 😂

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Swoon Reads

Why you need a developmental editor!

http://allyaldridge.com/books/ocean-heart/

The Author & Me Show

I got an invitation from Instagrammer @inspire.withkhadija to be a guest on her show Author & Me.

About Khadija Masreef

Khadija Maaref is author of the book Muslim Women in Western Society. Her book is full of motivational and inspirational speeches, from a well travelled woman that has experienced many cultures.

Discover more about her and her book at https://www.khadijamaaref.com/

Author & Me

Khadija continues her inspirational messages through her show Author & Me. During this show she hosts a live interview with a guest author.

She asked me various questions about when I started writing and why, and encouraged me to share tips that would help others.

I’m going to check out the other episodes. This a free resource for everyone & bound to be full of gems of wisdom from a variety of experiences and backgrounds. You can watch it here.

My Live

Do you want to see the whole interview… then, click here.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Technical Difficulties

YouTube: A Bookish Surprise

YouTube: I’m Her Biggest Fan

Writer’s Hashtag Collection

Behind the Book: Agent: Undone by Cassidy Reyne

What genre is Agent Undone and can you name any similar books?

Agent: Undone is a dark romance/romantic suspense novel with very adult themes. Books similar to this one would be the McIntyre Security Bodyguard Series by April Wilson, The Salvation Series by Corinne Michaels and The Broken Trilogy by J. L. Drake. They all have protective, slightly growly men and strong, independent women as their main characters.

The novel has two main characters, Carter & Maddison. Can you briefly introduce them?

Carter Hollis is a DEA Agent who has been forced to take medical leave after being shot in the leg during a mission. After his girlfriend and colleague died in his arms during an op, he couldn’t face being in a relationship again, so he became a ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ kind of guy. He’s always upfront about his intentions with every woman he meets and tries to not leave a string of broken hearts in his wake. He needs to focus on his work and doesn’t need a woman in his life for anything more than a bit of fun between the sheets whenever he’s off duty.


Madison Wells is living a quiet life in Florida, working from her little rented beach cottage and not allowing anyone close enough to see the deep cracks in her soul. She carries her secrets underneath a new identity and hides her fears of her past catching up with her behind an enigmatic smile and a well constructed armour. She doesn’t have friends, only people she says hello to in the tiny village nearby. Her days are spent on early morning runs on the beach, working on her writing and jumping at shadows.

Maddison has an ex from hell that she’s lucky to be free from. Not many people talk about trafficking and domestic abuse. Was it challenging writing about a such a difficult topic?

Trafficking and abuse are some of the worst crimes in our society, and they need to be brought out and examined in the cold light of day. In so many abusive situations, the victim is made to feel they are to blame for what is happening to them. They are stripped of their confidence, isolated from any outside support and made to depend on their abuser for everything. It’s incredibly hard for them to break free and escape their situation, and once they do the support available is often short term and run on shoestring budgets. I did a lot of research into domestic abuse and I was horrified when reading the women’s (and a couple of men) stories as they described their journey from being outgoing, confident, and in love, to an unrecognisable shell of their former selves. It’s a long, slow transformation that happens so gradually they don’t realise it before it’s too late. As much as I wanted to bring the subject into the book, I was also very wary of either trivialising or sensationalising it as it would be insulting to anyone who has ever suffered from abuse. The sex trafficking part was also emotionally hard to research and very complex, which is why I didn’t go into too many details and kept it to a more general description. We all know it happens and we all want it to stop, but as long as there are people who think others are there to be used as a commodity, and people who want to buy that commodity, it will always be an incredibly difficult trade to put a stop to. My heart breaks for anyone who has been put through it and for the families who lose a loved one in such a way. Many victims are never found which leaves parents, siblings and friends without closure and always wondering if they are still out there somewhere.

Carter has lost Mira and now uses women for a good time rather than to develop a meaningful connection. How did you rap into those complex emotions when developing his character?

Carter was both fun and interesting to create. I tried to visualise how a person would react if they didn’t deal with their grief properly after losing someone the way Carter lost Mira, and instead protected themselves from the risk of having to go through it again by pretending they didn’t want or need a deeper connection with a partner. I think we would all want to shield ourselves from heartache if the one we loved passed away. Some of us would go through all the classical stages of grief and eventually come out the other side, battered and bruised, but still open to finding someone new if the opportunity arose. Others would finish the grieving process but not feel the need for that kind of relationship again, and some would yearn for the love but be too afraid to have their heart broken again. The process of grief and loss is very individual and everyone tries to cope the best way they know how. Carter wants to fall in love and have that special someone in his life, but has convinced himself he’s not capable of it and only needs sexual gratification whenever his body demands it. I wanted him to come across as the stereotypical male who only wants one thing from women, while at the same time give glimpses into the fear and longing inside his heart. I promise, he’s not as bad as you might think when you first meet him.

You seem to have a style of writing novels with a dual perspective, one male, one female? Can we look forward to more of this?

I like writing from a dual perspective as I feel the reader gets a more three-dimensional insight into the characters. It allows me to develop the story from different levels and emotional angles, and the reader gets to know things about the characters they don’t know yet themselves. It lets the reader in on the secrets and builds a connection between them and the characters. It’s something I personally enjoy in the books I read and it’s a little like getting two stories woven into one whole.

The setting sounds beautiful. Have you been there or did you do a lot of research?

The story is set in the Florida panhandle and in Seattle, but I haven’t been to either of them so a lot of research was necessary. I’m on very friendly terms with Google Earth, Maps and Streetview. They are an absolute godsend for seeing how places look from lots of different angles. It’s also great fun to find new and interesting places to learn about and try to visualise as if you’ve actually been there. Quite often, I draw from memories of my own travels to try to create a picture of the sights, sounds and smells of the place I want to describe. After all, a sunny beach in Australia or Mexico is not going to be too different from one in Florida. Seattle was slightly more difficult, but as I didn’t need the characters to move around much, it wasn’t too hard to just get a feel for the city using the internet. The weather is also not too dissimilar to that here in the UK or even in Sweden where I grew up, so adding a lot of rain and grey skies was easy.

Please share a short snippet or teaser from Agent Undone?

“Before I forget, I might not make it for our run tomorrow morning.” Carter said with an embarrassed wince.
“Oh?” The tiny sound popped free from her mouth. “Are you going somewhere?”
“No, I’m not. My friend, Nathan, the guy who owns the beach house, is coming down today, and we’re going for a couple of drinks tonight at the bar.”
“And you might be too hungover tomorrow to go running? I get it. I suppose there might be a girl or two involved in that scenario as well?” Madison teased him, but he noticed a strained undertone in her words. It warmed his belly and made his chest feel light.
“Nope, no girls. Not for me, anyway. As soon as my leg has healed up, I’ll be on my way back to Virginia and my job. I don’t want to get tangled up with a woman that I must extricate myself from. Too many complications.” Damn, he was so lying to her — and himself. He just didn’t want her to think he was hooking up with other women while he was seeing her. Wait. Hold up. He was not seeing Madison. They were running buddies. Friends. Acquaintances. That’s all.
Carter tried to silence the annoying little voice in his head that was whispering the word liar very loudly.
“Well, if you need a hangover cure in the morning, give me a call and I’ll whip one up for you. I’ll even make one for your friend.” She snickered.
“If you have a hangover cure that actually works, Nate will worship you forever. He will also badger you for the recipe until you relent and give him what he wants. He’ll probably offer marriage and babies in return. You’ve been warned.” A deep laugh rumbled in Carter’s chest.
“No way, I’m not giving anyone that recipe, and for your information it does work. Or, at least it did on—“ Madison stopped abruptly and her lips pressed into a thin line. Carter knew that look.

Where can we find out more and buy your books?

There’s more information on Agent: Undone, including a video trailer made by the amazing J. D. Groom, and my other two books, on my website: cassidyreyne.comYou can purchase the books from Amazon and they are also available in Kindle Unlimited.

[kofi]

If you liked this you will enjoy:

Behind the Book: Lanterns in the Sky by Pagan Malcolm

Book Review: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

Behind the Book – The Sentinels Series by Cassidy Reyne

If you are an Indie, you need to know this…

Swoon Reads

The best way to explain Swoon Reads is as a public querying platform where readers influence agents on what to publish. The agents behind of this site are from MacMillan Publishing.

Swoon Reads publishes under Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.

https://www.swoonreads.com/about/

Writers: The platform was initially for YA Manuscripts only but now also accepts NA. The MS must be the writers original work and posted as an exclusive query to Swoon Reads for at least 6 months. One uploaded, it cannot be edited – that would be a new submission.

Readers: Site members read Manuscripts that appeal to them. They can comment to give the writer feedback with ideas for improvement or how much they loved it! Readers rate stories.

My History

Back in January 2014, I uploaded a copy of Drift to Swoon Reads. Drift was first drafted in Dec 2009, so I’d spent about 3 years working on it and thought it was ready to be queried.

The idea of readers choosing my book really appealed. At first, I got lots of positive ratings and excitedly awaited an agent to notice… and, I waited… and, I waited… and, after 6 months I returned to the traditional query trenches.

As you know, Drift has changed a lot in the last 10 years.

  • Was 24 chapters, then 36 chapters, now 30 chapters
  • Prologue cut
  • Merged with book 2
  • Changed character names
  • Given Ana (formerly Annie) a bigger role
  • Added a full mermaid shift
  • Added an epic battle
  • Changed the ending
  • Professional edit (twice) plus the countless self edits
  • Renamed as Ocean Heart

I uploaded Drift to Swoon Reads in January 2013. I got quite a few votes which moved my book into the top three most voted at the time. I thought this was pretty impressive as I didn’t have a huge social circle and my social media was limited to who I knew in real life, and I was too shy to tell them to go read my novel.

Despite the attention I got from readers, the agents never showed any interest. I don’t even know if they read it. But, the books they chose were always well deserving brilliant stories.

Moving on

After 6 months, you are free to leave your book on their site in hopes an agent will stumble across it and fall in love. I saw no harm in doing this.

I then queried and pitched other literary agents and publishers. I entered competitions. I did everything I could think to get my MS in their hands. Until, I realised, I could self publish.

This year, I’ve been working hard towards self publishing and in August, I got a strange message on Tumblr. They claimed to be a publisher that had seen ‘Drift’ on Swoon Reads and were interested.

Hmm…

One reason to Self Publish is there are lots of con artists about. Most reputable agents or publishers are so busy with manuscripts sent directly to them that they are not crawling the web looking for authors. They certainly wouldn’t use another publishers platform to poach authors.

I ignore them but it did remind me that my book is on Swoon Reads. I began to panic about their rules and if it’d affect my self publishing- eek.

They are a publisher that have built a good reputation for themselves so I hoped when I explained the situation they’d take my book down quickly. I explained:

  • Drift was uploaded in 2013
  • I’m self publishing but…
  • It has been edited a lot (characters names and plot changes)
  • Has a new title – Ocean Heart
  • Has a new cover

It was anxious for their reply. When I heard nothing I logged on and found it was gone. I’m no longer an author on Swoon Reads.

Comments

Readers can make comments on stories to encourage you or help the writer develop. Swoon Reads does warn writers to save these before taking an MS down otherwise they’ll be lost. I took screenshots. Here they are:

There will be, but book 2 is from Kiely’s perspective and much darker.

Tarot has done a great job of summarising Mariah (aka Lily) first love. Yes, I’m going to indulge you in a whole series based in the world of shifters.

Thanks Mike – met on WeBook a writing platform that no longer exists but where Drift was first posted online!

Mike, it’s evolved more! It’s got even better! No longer a twinge of magic, there’s even an epic battle.

I love comments like this. 💛

Yay! Thank you x

You’ll be pleased to know that prologue is long gone. Lol 😂

Thank you so much Debbie, I’m glad you loved my twist on magic.

Wow! This makes me want to happy dance.

Hopefully you won’t have to wait much longer as I’m working on Sky Heart (book 2) for 2021.

Thanks Anni. I’m working hard to make sure book 2 is just as awesome.

Do I recommend Swoon Reads?

Yeah. It’s been a positive experience for me. I didn’t get published but I did get useful feedback and encouragement from readers.

Ocean Heart

Drift has evolved and transformed into Ocean Heart. The comments above are by readers of the 2013 version.

These comments make me so happy. Whenever I get nervous about putting Ocean Heart out into the big bad world, these readers sweet words make me feel braver.

Soul Heart Readers

I’ve created a Facebook group for my Street Team, basically my first fans.

They’ll be first to hear how Ocean Heart is coming along, be offered ARCs and to be part of my virtual book tour, plus more…

If this is something you’d like to be part of, come join us in the Soul Heart Readers Facebook Group.

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Why you need a developmental editor!

Why I have chosen to Self Publish

Writers Beware: Know who you are querying

How NOT to start a novel!

Please don’t worry about these when you are writing your first drafts. Your first draft will be messy and ugly and full of cringe-worthy writing.

When writing your first draft just get the words out but when polishing it up look out for these cliches and cut them out. I hope this list is useful for you.

1. Waking up

Nobody wants to hear about your characters morning routine. We don’t want to know what they do in the bathroom, how they make & eat their breakfast, or what they pick out to wear and how they get dressed.

If you start with your character waking up, something epic needs to happen and not their usual boring morning routine.

If they wake up to an alien invasion, I’m pretty they won’t be worrying about what to wear but the reader will be right there with then running down the street screaming in their pyjamas.

2. False starts

So, you throw your reader into a beautiful dream or terrifying nightmare. The reader has no idea this isn’t real. Then, they wake up and the reader feels cheated.

You may have drawn them in but only to disappoint them. This is only acceptable if it has a purpose, like if Freddy Kruger is the antagonist.

Don’t trick your reader into spending time reading your story only to reveal they wasted their time. They won’t thank you for it and might even quit reading more.

3. Characters

At the start of the book you want readers to connect with the MC quickly. If they’re confused who the MC is, that isn’t going to happen.

Make sure it’s clear who the main character is. This is the person that will take the reader through the story. Don’t hide the MC as a surprise later.

While on the topic of characters, please don’t give them multiple names – it’s confusing. Don’t have you character Elizabeth also called Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Eliza, Babe, Buttercup, etc. I did read a story on Wattpad where someone did this and I lost count of the MC’s various names by the end of chapter 1.

Don’t waste the readers time aquainting them in depth with a character that doesn’t contribute to the overall story. If they are not important, don’t include it.

You can introduce characters during the story but don’t dump them all in chapter one. Don’t overwhelm your reader with a massive cast so there head is spinning with all the names.

4. Point of view

Be consistent. Readers will get comfortable reading in a certain POV and when it changes it takes them out. This is why writing dual or multiple character viewpoints is tricky as you don’t want to lose the reader but also need to keep their voice authentic.

Keeping your characters voice authentic is important and true to what they know or understand. Think about unreliable narrators. You may find another character is better suited as your MC or the story is told better via another POV.

5. World building

Creating realistic and vivid worlds will suck your reader in but don’t drown them in the details. Bogging them down with lengthy descriptions or explanations about the dynamics is going to kill it.

You need to show them the world, let them see, feel, taste and smell it. Put the reader in the world so they live it. Weave it into what’s happening.

If you want to write beautiful prose about nature, stick to poetry.

6. Over-explaining

Give your reader some credit, they’re not stupid. Trust them to fill in the gaps. Show the character living in the story and your reader will figure how things are based on the interactions.

Don’t use dialogue as an info dump. It really doesn’t work. Conversation aren’t showing, if you’re using it as a vice for telling the reader.

7. Fancy language

Okay, so we just covered how smart your readers are, however, they aren’t going to stick around if reading your novel is a vocabulary workout.

Too many complex words will kill the flow of your story. If the reader has to keep stopping, to figure out what they’ve read, you’ll lose them. You don’t want your readers to groan at the thought of reading your story.

In addition, be cautious about using made up words. You may have created new creatures, profession and even a new language, but if your reader needs a translator to make sense of your story, it’s too much hard work.

8. Too comfortable

Any scene that is too cosy isn’t going to compell the reader to keep going. Something needs to happen, something has to grab their interest.

Preferably a terrible conflict that makes your reader get behind your MC and follow them to the end of the story. You need to start with action.

9. Start in the present

The problem with prologues is they take place before your story starts. Many people skip reading them.

Also, using backstory or flash forwards are not great starts because your reader hasn’t developed a relationship with your character so they don’t care about their past or future.

These can have the same impact as a false start if they’re not necessary.

10. Rules are made to be broken

All the above have been associated with losing the reader but there are occasions when it does work.

If you feel strongly that your story needs multiple view points or it’s crucial the MC wakes from a dream, then do it. After all, it is your story.

I made a fun infographic:

If you enjoyed this you will like:

Why you need a developmental editor!

Making his YouTube dream come true…

How I did my book foot stack photo

Where To Find The Best Indie Books

Behind the Book: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Thank you for agreeing to a Behind the Book interview about your novel Out Of My League. I was so lucky to be one of you ARC readers and became a fan.

Blurb: Out Of My League

Out Of My League is the second book you published. Was it easier launching book two?

Yes and no. I wasn’t as nervous for this book (though I was still pretty anxious about it!) mostly because the process wasn’t so unknown anymore. However, there were a few glitches with this book in the publication process that were difficult to figure out. It was a give and take, for sure!

This romance is a ‘pretend boyfriend’ romance. Have you ever fake dated?

I haven’t, which is probably a good thing! I most likely would’ve ruined the fake relationship on day one.

Out Of My League is centred around a highschool baseball team. Were you into sports at highschool?

Ooh, not at all. I’m the stereotypical character who always manages to get hit in the face by a basketball or something. Sports and I did not click, but that did open so much more time to work on my writing!

I love your YouTube channel. For my readers can you share a little what it’s about?

Thank you! I started a YouTube channel back in April, and I’m sharing all of the things I learned about the self-publishing process and my experiences with it, as well as talking about writing. With Camp NaNoWriMo coming up, my writing vlogs are coming back, and I’m so excited!

Have you got any tips for budding Author Tubers or Book Tubers?

Make the content that you love. Numbers may not grow fast at first, but if you’re loving the content you’re making, that’s all that matters.

I’m guessing you are a romance fan. What’s you favourite romance novel?

Ooh, this is a hard one! I really, really loved Kasie West’s The Fill-In Boyfriend, which, funnily enough, is another fake relationship romance! P.S. I Like You, also by Kasie, was also very sweet!

Please share a snippet of your story, Out Of My League?

Walsh stood on the other side of the door with his blond eyebrows high up on his forehead. “Nice to see you, too?”
“What are you doing here?” I was ten kinds of disoriented, staring at his figure standing against the fading sky. Did I conjure him from my thoughts? “Why aren’t you at the bay? Aren’t the fireworks starting soon?”
“I didn’t go,” he told me, slipping his hands into the pockets of his shorts.
“What? What do you mean you didn’t go? Where have you been for the past few hours, then?”
Walsh reached a hand out to me, palm up. “I can show you.”
As enticing as his words were, I hesitated, glancing at the picture on the wall as if somehow my parents could see me through it. “I can’t leave the house.”
“Your house,” he said, eyes vivid with energy, “or your yard?”
Uh. “What?”
Walsh grabbed my hand and led me out onto my front porch, then down the two steps. “Close your eyes,” he commanded, his other hand coming around to my other shoulder to guide me. “I promise I won’t let you trip over anything.”
“Walsh—”
“Shh. Just say ‘yes, Walsh’ and close your eyes.”
I gritted my teeth but relented, swaying as my vision filled with black. “I hate surprises.”
Walsh pressed firmer against my side, his chest touching my shoulder, a smile in his voice. “I think you’ll like this one.”
Grass crunched beneath my bare toes as he moved me along, but I remained a good sport and kept my eyes sealed. Though it was silly, my heart started to beat faster, the anticipation making me nervous. His hands that curved over my shoulders were gentle, the pressure steady, his body close enough behind me that I could practically feel his proximity.
“Relax,” Walsh said, guiding me to a halt. “Your shoulders are so tense. I’m not about to kill you and stuff you in my trunk.”
“Your trunk’s huge. You seriously think you’d have to stuff me into it?”
Walsh was close enough that I could feel him chuckle.
“Can I open my eyes now?”
Walsh hesitated for a moment before he let go entirely. “Yes.”

Where can we go to discover more and buy Out Of My League?

Out of My League is available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo books! I’ll leave a universal link for easy access to any platform! https://books2read.com/u/b55yOw

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this you’ll enjoy:

Book Review: Out of my League by Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: What Are Friends For? By Sarah Sutton

Behind the Book: Wiccan Romance – Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Book Review: Practice Boyfriend by Christina Benjamin

How to beat writers block

Have you checked out Parler yet? It’s very similar to Twitter but promotes free speech. So far I’ve found everyone friendly and welcoming, and the posts I share there display better.

Someone posted that they were struggling with writers block and the advice to “just write” no matter what, everyday, was not working for them.

I’ll admit, I don’t write everyday.

So, I came to the persons rescue with a few alternative suggestions. I honestly believe that just because a method was right for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s right for all. Everyone is unique.

Originally this was a four point list on Parler but then I had more ideas.

Infographic on How to Beat Writers Block

I hope you enjoyed my infographic and found it useful. If you’re on Parler, you can add me. I’m Redfae.

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Soul Heart Readers – Street Team

Writing Progress: July

Why you need a developmental editor!

Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

Book Review: The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

I wanted this book for so long, by the tine I got it, there’s a second edition! The bonus is, the new edition has even more content!

It’s part of the Writer’s Helping Writers series. The series includes a number of thesaurus covering different aspects such as character traits or settings. The aim of the books are to help writers find the words they need to make the impact they want.

Author Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The series is co-written by Angela & Becca.

Writers Helping Writers

The pair run a website together (https://writershelpingwriters.net) to share information to help writers.

One Stop For Writers

They also have developed an impressive web-app (https://onestopforwriters.com) that’s described as a library of resources and tools to support writers.

What is the book about?

The one I got is on character expressions. It’s a thesaurus about different emotional responses and covers internal and external reactions.

How it works?

You look up the emotion your character is feeling, like lust, confusion, envy, fear, betrayal, etc.

There’s a little description so you can check you understand what the emotion is and make sure you picked the right one.

It then has a list of ways a character might behave if experiencing this emotion.

There are also some suggestions for internal sensations, which is useful for 1st person POV.

There are even some suggestions on how the emotion can escalate or deescalate.

How I used it?

Editing (Ocean Heart)

I used this book alongside the developmental feedback from my editor. She highlighted some points in my story where I needed to amp up the emotions and some places where I had skipped along without any reaction at all.

I looked up the emotion in the book and read the suggestions. I reflected on which reaction was most true to my character, then worked it in.

Future use…

This book will get used time and time again. I’m planning to next use it alongside writing Sky Heart. Hopefully it’ll reduce any feedback from my editor about under played or missed emotions.

Final thoughts…

This is a really useful book and has left me wanting the rest of the series.
It’s more of a resource than a thesaurus and I don’t think there is anything out there quite like this. It is designed especially for writers to aid their craft.
I highly recommend this book.
Do you have any writer resources that you swear by?

If you like this, you may enjoy:

Why you need a developmental editor!

Book Review: Save The Cat Writes A Novel

12 Tips For Self Editing

Tips on Naming Your Character

Camp NaNo Progress (mid July 2020)

So, I set three targets and it’s not gone to plan…

Writing Goal: Finish Sky Heart

Originally finishing Sky Heart was my main goal for Camp NaNo. I always struggle with writing endings so I knew this wouldn’t be easy.

Kiely was a 2nd viewpoint in an early draft of book 2. In that draft Mariah was the MC but Kiely’s story took over. Then I cut all Kiely’s parts and made a new book in 2018 called Glide. In 2019, it was renamed Diamond in the Sky and I added to it but never finished it.

I opened the manuscript and had no idea what was going on. It has been too long. I’m lost.

Instead of working on the ending, I’ve had to start at the beginning, reading the whole manuscript and making notes. The good thing is I’ve already identified parts to improve which will help when I come to edit. I’m now up to chapter 10.

This book has always taken a back seat to book 1. As book 1 is with my editor I thought I could finally work on finishing this but I was wrong. As you’ll see below, Book 1 has demanded my attention.

Book 2 has been renamed Sky Heart and promptly put back in the back seat… maybe next month Kiely.

Publishing: Ocean Heart

I thought sending my novel off to my editor meant my job was done…

No!

Very quickly I realised how much work I have to do to launch my book. As this is a priority, I adjusted my goals to continue working on Ocean Heart.

So far I have:

  • Written a dedication.
  • Researched & written my copyright statement.
  • Researched covers in my genre to identify what I like or don’t and gather the details my cover designer needs.
  • Planning for a Giveaway.
  • Researching how to provide ARC copies.
  • Attend my first ever meeting with my editor (this Thursday).
  • Got feedback on my Blurb

Still to do:

  • Finish the instructions for my cover designer so she can start work on my covers (eBook & Paperback). For this, I still need to finalise my blurb and decide on book sizing like trim, etc.
  • Use the feedback to improve my blurb.
  • Create a space for my Street Team to access exclusive content and be the first to know my news.
  • Researching meta data
  • So much more…

Reading Goal: Agent Undone (eBook)

I’ve now reached chapter 9. My little girl is demanding more attention from me now so I get less time to read on my phone during the day, which is when I read eBooks.

Reading Goal: Sea Witch (paperback)

After work I’ve felt too frazzled to do anything but watch rubbish on YouTube – I’m not proud of the time wasted on this.

When I have had energy, I’ve worked on my writing and got so into it that I had to go to bed after, with no time to read.

But, I have made some progress. I’m now up to chapter 19 (I was at chapter 4 at the start of July).

Learning Goal: Storyseller Academy

I’ve not even logged in. I’m desperate to make progress on this course but struggling to fit everything in.

I have done some learning as I’ve been researching things like Trim Size and Copyright statements.

But, this course is about successfully publishing your novel and I know it’s full of info that would be useful to me.

So, the next half of the month I’m going to make this a priority (after anything Ocean Heart related) and let go of Sky Heart for now.

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Camp NaNo July 2020

Why you need a developmental editor!

Find your Summer Reads in the latest WIW Brochure

Author Q and A – Ally Aldridge

Behind the Book: What Are Friends For? By Sarah Sutton

Thank you for agreeing to a Behind the Book interview about your novel What Are Friends For?

Blurb: What Are Friends For?

This is your first published novel but what’s the first story you remember writing?

If we want to go wayyyyy back, I remember that the first story that I ever wrote was a Gingerbread Man spin-off. We’d just finished the book in my first grade class, but I wanted to read more of the Gingerbread Man’s adventures, so I went home and wrote it!

Why did you decide to self publish?

I tried the querying route, but I quickly found that it wasn’t for me. I spent over a year going back and forth between one publishing company, editing my book, before they ultimately passed on the project. To say I was devastated would be an understatement! I didn’t want to wait any longer, so I decided that I would be self-publishing.

This novel is a Friends to Lovers Romance – I fell in love with my best friend and married him. Have you ever crushed on a friend?

Oh, I love that so much! And I actually haven’t, not anything major anyway. I absolutely love the idea, though—a friendship turning into something romantic is soooo adorable to me!

Can you name any books similar to yours?

Kasie West’s book On the Fence was really similar, and very adorable!

Tell me about a typical day in the life of author Sarah Sutton?

I’m such a homebody. Especially lately. Usually I’ll do professional related things in the morning—like finish some client work, manage the business side of things. I’ll take a nap about mid-day so I can stay up late and write my heart out! Sometimes I won’t go to bed until four in the morning, which makes for a rough wake-up the next day!

Do you have a book boyfriend crush – who is he?

Ooh, ever since I read Clockwork Angel, I have been so in love with William Herondale. Total babe!

Please share a snippet of your story, What Are Friends For?

Elijah was still picking at his fingernails, trying to scrub away the last speck of glitter. It was good that he wasn’t looking at me—he didn’t notice my staring. “You know, Sav agreed to do the double date thing. I texted Jer and he was thinking tomorrow could be a good day. We could all just come over and do some arts and crafts together.”
I was a bottle of mixed emotions; every time someone shook me, a new one surfaced. “This is news to me.”
“I thought Jeremy would’ve called you.”
A part of me really, really wanted to start gushing about Jeremy, but for the wrong reasons. But making Elijah jealous would be impossible. And my soul felt too weary to even try. “I’m sure he’ll mention it tomorrow.”
“Do I have to say again the part where we don’t keep secrets from each other?” Elijah asked, nudging his knee against mine underneath the table.
“We keep secrets,” I corrected him this time, laying my head against my folded arms. I could smell the cleaner Mom used on the wooden surface with my nose so close, and also the lingering smell of glue. “You have yours and I have mine and we don’t talk about them.”
Elijah didn’t answer, at least not right away. From the corner of my vision, through the little sliver open near the crook of my elbow, I saw him pull his chair closer to me. Our knees connected again, but this time he didn’t move his away, allowing it to rest against mine. I felt his fingers walk their way up my skin, a tickle of a touch, barely there.
“You can tell me your secrets if you want to,” he said quietly, his voice soothing and soft near my ear. “I’ll always want to keep them.”

Where can we go to discover more and buy What Are Friends For?

You can buy What Are Friends For? on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo—here’s a universal link to where all that can be found! https://books2read.com/u/mgGO1v

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will enjoy:

Behind the Book: Wiccan Romance – Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Book Review: Wiccan Romance – Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Book Review: And The Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando