insecure writers support group, writing

Book Covers #IWSG

Writers, join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, developed by Alex Cavanaugh.

Many thanks to today’s co-hosts: Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

Today’s question: If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish traditionally, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

I was fortunate to start my author journey with a small publisher known for their eye-catching book covers. Omnific Publishing created this cover for my debut novel, With Good Behavior, which portrayed the romance element between two convicts well, I thought. (Some thought the handcuffs represented BDSM, ha ha!)

I was mostly pleased with Omnific’s receptivity to my input, though I did want a larger image of a couple kissing underwater on my new adult swimming romance, Streamline:

When I turned indie in 2014, I knew the importance of a professional cover, meaning I would never try to create one on my own. I hired my publisher’s book designer, Coreen Montagna. We didn’t intend to focus on hot shirtless men, but that was the best image we could find for the first book, and sequels just *had* to follow the same format.

For my latest novel, Rivals, I had a lot of input with my graphic designer friend, Dan Irons, including the design for my first audiobook cover:

Of all the publishing tasks, creating book covers can be challenging, but also a blast! (At least more fun than writing blurbs.)

insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Move

Happy 2023, writers! Join us for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group developed by Alex Cavanaugh.

I appreciate the co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG: Jemima Pett,Debs Carey,Kim Lajevardi,Sarah Foster,Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin!

I’m getting my post up late today because I just returned from visiting family in South Carolina. I’m feeling discombobulated as I juggle unpacking, grocery shopping, and laundry in the midst of returning to work after a restful holiday.

January 4 questionDo you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year?

My word of the year is MOVE. I plan to make a big move in my life, and that brings excitement and anxiety. I’m still hoping to get back to writing, but I don’t know how that will figure in with my plans.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
insecure writers support group

IWSG Baja Mexico Swim Vacation

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Happy December, writers!

Join us for the monthly support group to lift up and celebrate writers of all persuasions. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!

In November, I had the opportunity to take a bucket-list dream vacation revolving around my favorite sport: SWIMMING! A company in England, SwimTrek, hosts swimming vacations all around the world, and we decided on Baja, Mexico. My college swimming teammates and I glamped on Isla de Espiritu Santo while swimming 2-4 miles a day in the crystal-blue waters of the Sea of Cortez.

The island had no electricity or wi-fi, adding to the spirituality of the experience. We were lucky to have a talented chef who prepared ceviche, fish tacos, and even a birthday cake! There were seven swimmers from my alma mater, and fun new friends from California, Canada, Germany, and Italy.

A highlight was swimming with sea lions.

What a memorable experience! A swimming vacation just *might* be the setting for my next novel.

insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG No NaNo

Developed by Alex Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a wonderful community that shares the struggle and excitement of writing. Join us!

Many thanks to the creative co-hosts for the November 2 posting of the IWSG: Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton!

November 2’s optional question – November is National Novel Writing Month. Have you ever participated? If not, why not?

While NaNoWriMo intrigues me, I have yet to participate. A big reason why is that it’s a busy time of year in my day job. It’s also true that writing every day hasn’t been my style.

I think that writing 50K words in one month is a cool concept, and I would like to try it one year.

For those who have participated in NaNo, what were the best and worst aspects for you?

insecure writers support group, writing

IWSG: Faves of the Romance Genre

Created by Alex Cavanaugh, join this supportive group here.

Thank you to today’s amazing co-hosts: Tonja Drecker, Victoria Marie Lees, Mary Aalgaard, and Sandra Cox!

Hey, writers! How’s it going? I’ve been swimming more to train for a swim vacation in Mexico soon. We’ll swim 2-4 miles a day in the ocean while glamping on the beach.

I still haven’t been writing, but I’ve listened to quite a few audiobooks, including Book Lovers and The Cheat Sheet.

Both books are romances, which brings me to this month’s question: What do you consider the best characteristics of your favorite genre?

It surprised me how many writers answered a previous month’s question by stating that they could never write romance. The romance genre, especially sports romance and romantic suspense, is about all I know as a writer.

Image by Maria Godfrida from Pixabay 

How do I love thee, romance? Let me count the ways:

  1. Unresolved sexual tension. You know that feeling when two characters lust for each other, yet neither ponies up to share their feelings due to fear of being rejected? When they clearly belong together? It’s palpable! The Bridgerton series on Netflix captures UST perfectly, and I’m enjoying the book series as well.
  2. Shared vulnerabilities. Sharing your heart with a potential boo leaves you so exposed, but your partner will likely respond by opening up their inner insecurities, too. Writing romance is an effective way to reveal characters.
  3. Opportunity for creativity. Authors have covered first dates and marriage proposals countless ways, but how can a writer come up with a fresh take? It’s a fun challenge.
  4. Happy endings. Life can be painful, and I relish happy (yet still somewhat realistic) endings.
new release

New Release: Reckoning by Nick Wilford

Congratulations to Nick Wilford for releasing the third book in the Black and White trilogy!

 Title: Reckoning

Author: Nick Wilford

Genre: YA dystopian

Series: Black & White

Series #: 3 of 3

Release date: 20th September 2022

Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing

 

Blurb:

The time has come for those who perpetrated wrongdoing and suffering on the land of Loretania to face their judgement. Lord Histender and the other members of the deposed Reformers’ Government are in jail awaiting trial for keeping that country in a state of disease-ridden deprivation, alongside other heinous crimes.

Wellesbury Noon and Ezmerelda Dontible, the kind and benevolent new rulers of Harmonia, are looking forward to seeing justice finally being done. But nothing is that simple. Lunkin, the psychotic former Chief Scientist, has one more trick up his sleeve and is wreaking havoc even from behind bars. Soon, Loretanians who have come to make a new life in Harmonia are falling victim to hate crimes and brutal attacks. And things take a turn for the desperate when Wellesbury himself becomes compromised.

Can Welles and Ez turn the tide of public opinion and secure justice for the people of Loretania before it’s too late?

 

Purchase Links:

Download the first part of the series, Black & White, for FREE!
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Black-White-Book-One-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B07395MKSH / Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-White-Book-One-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B07395MKSH / Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/737919 / Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-white-nick-wilford/1126893697;jsessionid=50FD13B948B9FF72DE497F39E2EBE2F4.prodny_store01-atgap09?ean=2940154483671 / Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/black-white-15

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo 

Add it on Goodreads

Author bio:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or wrangling his six adorable dogs. His first traditionally published novel, a YA sci-fi adventure entitled The Becalmer, will release from Creative James Media in August 2023. His other books include the Black & White trilogy, a YA dystopian series, and A Change of Mind and Other Stories, a collection featuring a novella and five short stories, four of which were previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew.

Linktree

 

 

insecure writers support group, new release

#IWSG New Anthology Release, First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts

Writers, join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by Alex Cavanaugh.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Congratulations to  Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White,Denise Covey,  and Sammi Spizziri for writing stories about first love in the new IWSG anthology!

I was honored to serve as a judge, and I swooned over the sweet and sexy meet cutes in each story.

First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

The sweetness of first love…

Could a fiercely independent cop’s heart be stolen by the guy who makes her favorite doughnuts? Will a maid who used deceit to snare a mail-order husband get a dose of her own medicine? Can her handsome neighbor rescue a modern-day “princess” from a tenacious ex-boyfriend? Can two strangers in a rideshare be honest enough to fall in love for real? Can you remember your first love? How about your second? Third? Fourth?

Featuring the talents of Linda Budzinski, Melissa Maygrove, Michael Di Gesu, Sylvia Ney, Katie Klein, Kim Elliott, Templeton Moss, S.E. White, Denise Covey, and Sammi Spizziri. Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will touch your heart and rekindle lost feelings. Prepare to return to that first love…

Release date: September 6, 2022

Print ISBN – 9781939844880, $14.95

EBook ISBN – 9781939844897, $4.99

Romance – Clean & Wholesome (FIC027270) / Contemporary (FIC027020) / Historical (FIC027050)

186 pages, Freedom Fox Press, an imprint of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

insecure writers support group, writing

IWSG Who Do You Write For?

Insecure Writers Support Group started by Alex Cavanaugh, please join us here.

Many thanks to this month’s hosts: Tara Tyler, Lisa Buie Collard, Loni Townsend, and Lee Lowery.

How’s it going, insecure writers? My writing life is meh as I’m more focused on my day job these days, but I do feel inspired by those of you bravely writing all the words.

The stellar performance of USA at Track and Field World Championships also stimulated me (when my cat, Tuxedo, allowed me to watch the events!)

August 3 question – When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?

I don’t have a clue for how to write a story that readers want. All I know is how to write words that reflect my passions and interests. Only when an idea sparks my curiosity, a “What if…?” question, do I dive in to a novel. I need to write what excites me. If I worry about trends or try to mind-read what others might want, I’ll never start the damn thing.

Though I’ve taken a writing hiatus, an idea for my next novel has percolated for months. You probably haven’t heard of cognitive processing therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is the BOM-DIGGITY of psychological treatments. I’ve been so impressed by CPT’s effectiveness that I can’t wait to bring the protocol to life in a fictional story. Do readers want to read about a character’s therapy journey in healing from a tragedy? Hell, no! But I’m stoked to write it.

Who do you write for?

insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Just Keep Swimming

Join us here! Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for leading us.

Many thanks to the co-hosts for the July 6 posting of the IWSG: J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!

Whoops, I almost forgot about IWSG again! Too many summer days at the swimming pool. Ahhhhh.

Instead of answering this month’s question, I have a question for you. Have you ever asked for your rights back from your publisher in order to self-publish past novels? I’m considering doing so (now that the contracts have elapsed), taking time to update, and I’m looking for tips and pros/cons.

Imge by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

See you at the pool!

insecure writers support group, writing

IWSG Perseverance

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating this awesome group. Join us here!

I appreciate this month’s co-hosts: SE White, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguire, Joylene Nowell Butler, and Jacqui Murray.

June 1 question – When the going gets tough writing the story, how do you keep yourself writing to the end? If have not started the writing yet, why do you think that is and what do you think could help you find your groove and start?

Have you ever taken a strengths assessment? A free one I like is the VIA Survey of Signature Strengths at http://authentichappiness.org

I mention this because one of my top character strengths on the survey, perseverance, relates to my answer. I may not be the fastest or most focused writer, but I will definitely finish what I start! I have a dysfunctional need for achievement that keeps me going, I guess. 😉

Yet, I haven’t started writing a new novel in two years. My hiatus stems from both disappointing sales and high demand in my day job as a psychologist (the pandemic has bludgeoned mental health, especially among young people.) I do want to return, and I’m hoping the addition of a colleague in September will lighten the load and inspire me to get back to writing novels.

What keeps YOU going?

Streaming recommendation: An inspiring story of perseverance is Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on HBO. I’m not a big NBA fan, but I loved this insider view of the 1979-80 season, as well as the Netflix documentary about The Chicago Bulls (The Last Dance).