Monthly Archives: February 2010

Goodreads Authors on Twitter: Check ’em out!


I joined a new group on Goodreads the other day and found this awesome listing of Authors with Book Trailers and Web Sites who also Twitter. Here are the Twitter IDs so you can follow them. I guarantee they will all follow back and are really cool people with interesting tweets.

Goodreads Authors on Twitter




Alice A.:












C. l.:














David J.

David S.:



Dee Marie:



E. John Love:





Fd Crandall:







Jennifer: http://www/

Jess C Scott:





Justin P.:















Lori A.:


M. J. Smith:







Mary: Mary:

Michael Di:





Pat Bertram:

Pat Guppy:

Peggy :






Robert M. :




















Thomas H.:

Thomas T. :



Tribe Literary Agency:

Vera Jane:





Wendy B:




Ways to Organize Information Before Writing


It’s all too easy to forget the name of a sibling or pet or parent of a character who is mentioned once or twice in a manuscript. When you mentioned a character in Chapter 1 and not again until Chapter 12, what color eyes did he have? Can’t remember? When that happens and you want to refer to that person again, you have to reread until you find it. Or do you? Not if you create a spreadsheet before writing.

A spreadsheet will allow you to see all details of all characters at a glance. This helps in seeing whether all character names work together (you never want two names too similar, like Liam and Lenny). And the beauty of a spreadsheet is you can make a master template, save it and use it every time you write.

I create several spreadsheets because I use a lot of details. I have one for Main Characters, Protagonists, Antagonists, Mythical Creatures, Monsters/Beasts, The Holy Order, Map Info. You get the point. I assemble all of these in page protectors in a red 3-ring binder as well as files on my computer. Here are some pix of these spreadsheets and binder.

Character Spreadsheets in Red Binder

The other thing I created that I used A LOT when I first started writing, was a large map on a foam board. I leaned this on a table-top easel right beside me and referred to it constantly. On the flip side I had Character bios.

I hope some of this helps when you start thinking about a topic. It takes a little while to do this, but saves tons of time finding details later.

Detailed Maps of Cities in Story

Map on Foamboard

Besides having map files on the computer, I also draw out the streets of my fictional cities and put them in the binder. I scan them into the computer as well.

Other than the binder, this was the most useful tool I made in Prewriting. It was so useful I took a picture of it and put it on the computer. On the flip-side I had large bios with illustrations posted for each main character. As you can see in the picture, there are additional notes of place names and character names taped to the board.

Freedom – Just How Free Are We Right Now?


The concept of freedom is completely ambivalent. While I live in America, Home of the Free and Land of the Brave, I do enjoy a wide number of freedoms that citizens across the world do not. I can speak about what I wish to whomever I wish. I can come and go at will pretty much wherever I wish. I can write whatever I want without fear of censorship, although there are times recently when that seems threatened. I have the freedom to worship, or not, as I wish and to say whatever I feel about God or his non-existence.

So why is it that I feel trapped and without freedom? Six years ago my mother died of a massive brain aneurism and I transplanted my youngish family from our established 25-year home in the growing metropolis of Jacksonville. We moved 80 miles west to a community with a blinking light and post office as its claim to fame between Lake City and Live Oak. My father, married for over 50 years, needed a surrogate care-taker because he’d never cooked or done laundry. So we chose to move. We sold our house and moved into a dream house. A 100-year-old Victorian with wrap-around porch, huge floored attic, the biggest bedrooms we’ve ever seen, completely renovated and beautiful, on 5 lovely acres in the country. Mama and Daddy had done wonders with it over the 20 years they’d worked on it. Daddy retired at age 55 from the Broward County school system and they’d split from South Florida to resettle in North Florida.

The house was beautiful, if full of antiques (they were both collectors) and stuff. It took me over five years to finally sell or give away all of the stuff they’d accumulated. Anyway, we settled in and cleaned house. We had it repainted in and out, new wallpapers and curtains. We made it home. Daddy had a cozy log house built on the property so he could maintain some semblance of sanity. It had been a long time since he’d been part of a busy six-member household.

Well, Daddy died about three years later and we had an auction to get rid of the rest of their stuff and put the big house on the market. We wanted to go back ‘home’ to Jacksonville. Oh, by the way, my husband still works in Jax, driving three hours a day on the interstate.

That was when the market collapsed. I tried selling the house myself for a year and got a few nibbles. Then we hired a realtor with NO nibbles. We were stuck. We are stuck. We can’t abandon it like some others are who are being foreclosed upon. We own it outright. We need the sale to buy a new house. So our freedom, and that of a lot of others in America right now, has been obliterated until America gets back on its feet after this depression. And yes, it is a depression when so many are out of work and losing homes.

But, to end on an up note, because I believe we will all pick up the country by the boot straps and move forward, this will not last forever. And as I and one of my daughters like to do; we look for the silver-lining, because we know it is there somewhere.  One benefit has been turning the log house into a Vacation Rental business. It allowed me to quit teaching as it provides a fairly decent income.

The Seraphym Wars by Rebecca Ryals Russell 2 New Book Videos


After having a vision of her brother burning alive, 19-year-old Myrna finds herself in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil. An average college student from Florida, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Thule, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s death and many other atrocities in the news. She meets Michael (19) who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (child warriors) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. But first she has to get there.

Reluctant to lead, she nonetheless agrees, battling dragons and monsters along the journey, locating three of the Vigorios. However, complications occur when three young men, not Vigorios, are drawn to her and two of them, her sweet & sensitive trainer Michael and a brusque, sensual half-naked warrior, insist on accompanying her.  The third, a dark and handsome, charming, intelligent rogue with possibly dark motives, drops in occasionally to stir the pot.

Characters with horrific pasts like Brigid (17) who was kidnapped for child slavery and watched as three demon bullies “accidentally” killed her baby sister or Tien (10) raised in the foster care system going from one abusive home to the next or Liam (18) whose best friend died of a heart attack while playing a vile video game and then his mother was murdered in her bed, give readers a reason for cheering these heroes to victory.

Book 2, Harpies, follows the remaining 3 Vigorios as they battle Harpies, dragons in hand-to-hand combat, nightghasts, a warlock and more in their journey to the island. Along the way they find friendship and love, trust and distrust.

Book 3, Majikals, follows a year of training on the Enchanted Island of Caldelub where the Majikals escaped after the Great Shuddering. Here the Vigorios will discover themselves and each other as they learn weaponry, majik and love. But everything on the island is not as it should be and trouble begins when the Vigorios find this out.

Book 4, Uprising, follows the Vigorios and the others who choose to accompany them on their return journey. But travel is not as easy as it was before as Narciss is now aware of the prophecy and his danger.

Book 5, Annihilation, concludes the series with a massive battle between the Seraphym of Asgard and the Dragon-Demons of Tartarus. The Vigorios and friends assist the Seraphym thereby fulfilling the prophecy. But things may not always conclude the way one would assume.

The Seraphym Wars     Prophecy Book Video

The Seraphym Wars   Vigorios 7: ODYSSEY (Book 1)

Create Your Author Platform in 10 Steps


I came across this awesome post recently and wanted to share it.

Whether you are a seasoned author or just dipping the tip of your toe in the waters of writing your book, it won’t be long before you hear that you will need to have an “author platform” if you wish to sell your book with any success. And if you are looking to land a contract with a traditional publisher, having an author platform can mean the difference between being published and not being published. So, what is a platform and what do you need to do to develop one?

An author platform is your sphere of influence when it comes to your notoriety. It encompasses many things that converge to tell the world who you are and why you are a person to listen to when you have something to say. The greater your platform, the higher your book advance. That’s why ex-presidents, celebrities, and previous bestselling authors can command multimillion dollar advances. A platform tells a publisher that if they take on your book, their risk exposure is limited because you have people who already know who you are that will hear about your book.

Ideally, a platform will tie in to the subject of your book. For example, if you are an oncologist, you will probably have a stronger platform if you write a book about cancer than if you write a book on the history of NASCAR. However, if you are an oncologist who blogs every weekend about NASCAR, then you may have a platform for your History of NASCAR book that other oncologists won’t have.

That said, you can still leverage your current platform for an unrelated book. How? Because if you have any authority in your field, and if you are followed by others, then you can use that to help you promote your book. This is exactly what actors and actresses do when they come out with books on subject matters that they hardly qualify as being an expert on. However, they have people who know who they are, who are willing to listen to what they have to say, and are ready to buy a book that they write. You can use the same premise to leverage your platform with your new book.

Here are 10 tips on how to create your author platform:

1. Chose a subject related to your book and become an expert on that subject. Blog about it, submit articles about it, speak on it. The more you communicate on the subject, the more you are building your author platform.

2. Comment on other people’s work. Visit blogs that deal with the same subject matter and lend your authoritative voice to the conversation.

3. Create articles for giveaways on your site for people to download or read on the subject.

4. Take advantage of guilt by association. Who are the perceived experts with the same platform? Find them, communicate with them and submit writings to the same places that publish their writings. If you are able, go to the same conferences and conventions they go to.

5. Join appropriate trade associations. If your subject has professional associations, then look into joining one or two.

6. Become active in civic/community organizations. Not only will you get your name out there, but you will find speaking opportunities through those groups that may give you air time or get your message in print.

7. Become active in a charity relating to your platform. Many organizations desperately need volunteers to carry on their good work. You may find yourself in a position of helping with a noble cause while gaining notoriety in that role.

8. Mentor others who are looking to build the same platform that you are building. This can be one-on-one or by teaching classes or conducting seminars. This is a way to position yourself solidly in a leadership role regarding your platform.

9. From business cards, e-mail signatures to personal meetings, always introduce yourself as it relates to your platform. “I’m Tony Eldridge, oncologist and NASCAR historian…” If you have two separate platforms you are cultivating, you may want to have your business collateral separate (i.e., one business card for your oncology practice, another for your NASCAR gig).

10. Stay up to date in current news/events relating to your platform and comment early when news breaks. Don’t be afraid to strongly state your opinions. Experts are people who commentate on important events; reporters are people who regurgitate it. Be an expert, not a reporter.

All of this can be summarized to say:

1. Know your platform well
2. Communicate your platform well
3. Commentate on on your platform well

Do this, and not only will your followers continue to follow you, but your platform, sphere of influence, and your credibility will get stronger and stronger over time.

Two Quick Notes:

1. The new videos tips are out. You should be getting your e-mail soon with this week’s tip and link location. If you have not joined the Marketing Tips For Authors Video Newsletter, then you can do so now. This week’s video walks you through how to use a back door way to create multiple pages on your blogger blog and how to integrate your Blogger blog into your current website.

2. Make sure you enter the “Win A Signed Library Of Book Marketing Books” contest going on now through April 19th where you can win a library of book marketing books signed by their authors to the contest winner.

Guest Blogger Bio:
Tony Eldridge is the author of the award winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, a site that publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at