Friday, October 8, 2021

Can Self- or Hybrid Publishing Land You on the Bestseller List?

My indie-released songwriter friends never understood why writers are so hung up about self-publishing. Or the more recent hybrid version, where a publishing house helps you create the book and you fund it. Musicians have long separated from the labels and ventured out on their own, releasing their own CDs and working with indie distributors.

Even today, writers are told that unless we get an agent and go the traditional route, we'll never be taken seriously. We'll never make it as a writer, whatever that means.

I've played both sides of the court. For years, I went the traditional route--agent, large publisher, small press, radio and TV marketing paid for by my publicity budget with the publisher, even book tours back in the day. I also have self-published twice, creating a professional book with hired help (typesetter, cover designer) and promotion.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Alchemy of Place: How to Create Tension through Your Story's Setting and Atmosphere

Morning: writing at my sunny desk. Task: revise a stubborn scene. Advice from recent feedback: bring more tension and emotion into it.

Sunshine in our New England autumn today is no help. In my fictional scene, it's chilly rain in the northern mountains of New York state. While I sit comfortably in my chair, laptop in front of me, spicy tea and good music and sweet air at hand, my poor beleaguered character has just crashed her small plane--on purpose. She's bleeding, shaken, and starving. Around her is a circle of dark, forbidding mountains, misted by the rain.

Our settings couldn't be more disparate. Yet I'm trying to conjure emotion in hers and capture the desperation of this person who only exists in my imagination.