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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Infographic: Breakfast Around The World


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Creating A New Business Card

During the past couple of years, I've had several different business cards for my books, and each of them has been book-specific. This week, I resolved it was time for a change.

Now that I have fourteen books published (and more on the way), I decided it was time I moved into more of a corporate branding exercise. And so, with that in mind, I've created my first Paul Dorset business card.

Now, I can hand out one card and it solves any number of problems.

What do you think?

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

14,000 words written this week! Not too sloppy a number at all. As always when I write a book, it takes me a little time to get into it and get those words cranked out. Now I'm in full swing and I expect another bumper week this week, despite Thanksgiving. I'm excited for Ryann's Bane.

On other fronts, I've sent out proofs of Interviews With 100 Indie Authors to all my authors, and expect their feedback in the next two weeks. Then it'll be a mad dash to get it published by the end of the year.

All that's left to do now, is to redo a few of my book covers, design some new business cards, and generally prepare myself for the end of the year. Sounds like it'll be another busy week, folks!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

#14 - What About The Supporting Characters? (HOWNTWAN)

This is the fourteenth article in the semi-comedic series, How Not To Write A Novel (HOWNTWAN). The first article in the series can be found here: What's Your Story About? Keep reading during the next couple months for the rest of the series.

14. What About The Supporting Characters?

Seriously? I thought I was reading a book about writing, and now there’s a whole article on supporting characters. Who cares about the minor characters? After all, there’s enough to worry about with the main characters and the bad guys. Adding a load of thought to character X and Character Y isn’t really helping me write my book.
I’ve heard this complaint before, and no doubt I’ll hear it again. Most authors don’t want to invest heavily in the minor characters. And I’m not suggesting they do for all of them. But I would suggest thinking about them to a certain degree. What is special about the characters your heroes meet? Are there some characters that help your hero, and some characters that hinder your hero? Do some of your supporting characters aid the bad guys? It’s important to spend time fleshing out these supporting characters a little. That way, when your main characters come across them, both of them will know how to react. And who knows, you may even end up promoting one or two of your supporting characters into main characters!
It may help to think back to a few of your favorite books and list out the supporting characters. Then write down what part they played in the overall plot of the book. I guarantee if the book was good, these characters had several key moments. And so it should be with your supporting characters, too. Recently, I’ve been listening to Lord Of The Rings on audiotape and it’s given me time to think a little about the style of the book and also the characters. I’m not sure exactly how many of the characters are supposed to be major, and how many are supposed to be minor. Obviously, Frodo is a major character, and so too is Gandalf. But what about Sam, and what about Gollum? They both have fairly big parts, but I’m not entirely sure they are at the protagonist / antagonist status. One of the characters, Sam, is a supporting character to Frodo, while the other, Gollum, is neither supporting nor particularly against Frodo. But both these characters are so well fleshed out, their actions play a big part in how Frodo reacts to and survives certain situations.
If all your supporting characters just turn up from time to time and do nothing except have a name and offer a quick sword fight, or provide a little side-track action, then you haven’t done a good job with them. Of course, some minor characters are more major than minor, and these do have names and all sorts of background ready made for them. The really minor characters many not even have a name, but we’re not really talking about these ones in this article.
In just the same way that scenery adds to the richness of a landscape, so too do supporting characters add to the richness of your protagonists. Perhaps your imperfect hero needs to rescue someone from the water and cannot swim, when along comes X and saves the day. Now, depending on whether X is a good or bad supporting character, can really impact how the book progresses. Is your hero now forced to make friends with X? Or are they jealous of X’s skills? All of a sudden you’ve got some extra built-in conflict that you can experiment with.
Whatever. I know you already told me, you’re writing a book that’s based on your life, only better. The whole point is to show the reader how wonderful you (the protagonist) are. The last thing you need is for them to show some love to a minor character. No, it’s much better to leave out the minor characters altogether and concentrate on the hero. After all, he’s the one who will win the day and the maiden’s heart. You’re the Indie Author, and the day job still puts money in the bank.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Infographic: Pairing Wine And Food


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ryann's Brother - Excerpt #2

...It didn’t take Ryann long to find the big meadow that had been turned into a mass burial pit. She smelled it long before she actually saw it, forcing her to tie a cloth around her nose and mouth, just as others who were working nearby had done.
A young man, not much older than her, was digging a hole nearby as she approached. “How many are dead?” Ryann asked.
The young man looked up at Ryann before turning back to continue his work. He shook his head. “Few hundred. Praps ten in twenny each day.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“Dunno,” the young man replied. “Praps a moon. Come all of a sudden. People said it were a visitor what brought it. From the north.”
Ryann nodded. This explained the questioning at the town’s gate, and the general wariness of the townsfolk to strangers. “And there’s no cure?”
The young man stopped digging, and turned to face Ryann. He eyed her up and down. “You looks like a nice girl, miss, and I don’t wanna be rude, but can’t you see I be gotting a job to do?” He nodded his head toward an older man nearby. “Jake over there will be having me beat if I don’t get this done. So if you ain’t minding?” He turned back to his digging, deliberately turning his head away from Ryann.
Ryann watched the young man for a moment before continuing her walk through the meadow. A few people stopped briefly to stare at her as she passed by before returning to their digging. She noticed two men on the far side of the meadow who were throwing bodies into an already finished pit, and she decided to stay well away from them.
What was this black death, she asked herself. And how did it attack? She was certainly going to have to take extra precautions now, in case it was something that spread easily from person to person. And all those people with the illness. Did the colors she saw really mean everyone was close to death? There were so many unanswered questions...

Title: Ryann's Brother
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 84,000 words

Synopsis: Ryann gained her freedom from slavery by winning a wager with the son of her owning lord. Now she is setting out to find her long lost brother who is rumored to live in the country of her birth. But Bramwel Cala, the ruthless and barbaric son of her ex-lord and master, wants his revenge.

A deathly plague is also devastating the land, and there are many people who would as soon have Ryann killed as help her on her quest. In a land of lords and tax-collectors, potion-makers and sclavas, will the young and innocent Ryann survive to fulfill the destiny she was born to?

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Writing Update: 11/17/13

More words. More editing. Repeat. That's the kind of week it's been for me! In actuality, I've spent a lot of the week editing my Interviews With 100 Indie Authors book. Writing Ryann's Bane has taken a little bit of a second place. Still, we'll have to see where we get to this week.

The editing work has taken a lot longer than I imagined. Oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes.

So, it's short and sweet this week. Hopefully, I'll have more to write next week.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Interviews With 100 Indie Authors - Coming Soon!

Much of the past month has been spent turning a hundred blog posts into a book! It's been long, hard, and exhausting work. The good news is I'm now almost done. All I have left to do is add author photos and send off the finished interviews to the actual authors for their final proof.

Writing any book is a lot of work. Foolishly, I thought this effort would be fairly straightforward. I started by emailing the 100 authors and asking them for updates. That was my first mistake! Actually, it wasn't a mistake; I just didn't anticipate such a large set of feedback. In all, over 50% of the authors sent me new and updated material. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback I received. And so, the hard work of updating 100 interviews began. I had to copy them individually into Scrivener and then format them appropriately. The whole process has taken A LOT OF HOURS. Anyway, I digress slightly. I was going to promote the book a little!

Interviews With 100 Indie Authors covers authors from many countries and different walks of life. Some are full-time authors, while others are still working on their first book. Some have had good experiences, while others have struggled. All in all, the book is a cornucopia of advice, knowledge and experiences from modern-day authors. The book runs to nearly 150,000 words, more than enough to keep you reading for a while. There's honestly something for everybody to be found inside.

So, when's it being released? Everything is set for mid-January 2014. There'll be more detail nearer the date. In the meantime, hunt through my blog and read a few of the interviews. I'm sure you'll find them fascinating reading.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stephen King

Today I am pleased to publish my 17th guest blog post. You, too, can have a post published on my blog. Just read the guidelines HERE. In the meantime, enjoy...

Stephen King
By: Leslie Hodge

Yep! That’s my title, I need not say more! Stephen King is my inspiration.

I must say I love the way he spins a tale, even when it’s simply horrid and gruesome. One of the first books I read from Stephen King was "The Talisman". He co-wrote with Peter Straub. I couldn’t put it down! I hung on to every word every character and every interaction. I couldn’t wait to flip to the next page, then the next.

From then on, I must admit the only thing that can hold my interest is Stephen King, sometimes (Dean Kootnz) and cook books. (I know odd combination).

Like, how in his early years he was charged with perjury (God bless), even if that's true or not...

He goes deep into the human condition and weaves stories so intriguing that I don’t care how gruesome things become. I just can’t wait for the outcome.
Movies like Misery, Dolores Claybourne, The Mist - I can watch them over and over. To me Stephen King is a legend. Movie producers keep bringing back "Carrie" but no one can touch the original with Sissy Spacek.

God bless Stephen King, he gets into our brain, like he did with Needful Things and Pet Cemetery.

Tommyknockers is next on my list.

I can't imagine not having a talent like Stephen. He scoops you up to a fantasy or a total nightmare nail-biter! I'm there inside that page! He is the only author where I find myself thinking, wondering about of what might be coming next while I'm at work.
Can’t wait to get home, pour a glass of wine and read!!

He has gotten into my imagination and allows the dark shadows to come out and play. I read somewhere a while ago he says a dark shadow stands around and makes him write... hmmmm I don't know if it’s true or not, but I'm glad...I'm the lucky recipient of such master pieces.

I enjoy a storyteller and as far as I'm concerned Stephen King takes the cake. (Yeah, cookbook tie-in!)

Not that I'm trying to be like this amazing author, producer, musician.

I watched, Shawshank Redemption, Stand by Me, and the Green Mile over and over. I was, and am hooked. Over 50-some books! This man is a writing machine! How does he do it?

When I found out I could write about writing or a writer, I knew instantly who I would write about! Stephen King!
I Googled him, and started reading up everything about him.
I love his stories they pull me in and with one quick blow, my heart pounds my eyes scan the words. I stay up hours and hours longer then I should.
The paperback (or hard cover) sits resting on my knees as I prop myself up with comfy pillows. I remember reading "The Stand” - every character "OMG!" he explains in such depth how they feel with every interaction. Describing events or interactions is not one of his short comings.

My mission is to read every book he ever wrote. I’m re reading The Cell; I believe it’s even truly happening as we speak! Just playing... well (maybe)
In-between his books and movies I also have a lot of cookbooks I just have to read. Yet just like 70's music I can't stop watching or reading Stephen King!
Wait! I forgot about my most favorite "The Shining”!! How could I not mention that! "Here's Johnny!" "REDRUM REDRUM"! I remember when I finally could share that masterpiece with my daughter. I think she was five. (Just kidding) She was 15 I believe, but that by far is the all-time most suspenseful edge-of-your-seat scary movie. I’m reading that next I, can't believe I haven't read the book yet. Then I’ll re-watch that epic masterpiece asap!! Peace in your day and lots of imagination! Thank you for reading!!

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Writing Update: 10/11/2013

Somehow, I managed to forget to write an update last week. I don't know how; it just happened.

Anyway, here we are, almost in the middle of November and I'm still as busy as ever.

I'm 17,000 words into Ryann's Bane, the second in the Ryann trilogy, and I'm trying to complete the manuscript by Christmas.

I'm also into edits of my upcoming book, Interviews With 100 Indie Authors. This is proving particularly challenging. There's still a lot of work to do before I get it out for proof-reading at the beginning of December.

Oh, and my final Xannu novel, Xannu - The Mayhem, is with my beta readers. This one is scheduled for a fast turnaround so it can be launched in time for Christmas.

Writing, and its associated activities, now takes up around three to five hours a day. It's become a second full-time job. Oh well, being your own company is never an easy thing.

Here's to a glass of wine later!

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