Showing posts from February, 2018

Do Authors Need a Website?

The short answer to the title question is yes. Published authors trying to market their books should have a website. But what if you aren't published yet? Or what if you have stories or essays published but only in journals? A website still can work for you, but here's the catch:  if you don't update it regularly, you're wasting your time. That's why many writers blog. That's also why many writers should not blog. If you can't keep up a regular posting schedule, your blog will not attract followers. In fact, a blog that doesn't have regular updates detracts from your web presence overall. Why Do You Need an Online Platform? An internet presence creates followers. It's called your platform, and agents and editors prefer you to have one before they agree to publish your work. As unfair as it sounds, a lot of marketing falls on the writer's shoulders these days, and a website provides an obvious launch pad to marketing. If you're no

Internal Thoughts: How Much is Too Much?

When James knocked on his elderly neighbor's door, it swung open.  "Hello?" he called out, poking his head into the house. No one answered, so he entered. The unmistakable stench of vomit assaulted his nose. Piles of old newspapers and trash scattered a trail across the room to the bedroom door, and he fought the urge to cringe. It looked and smelled so much like his father's last home, he expected the man to lurch from the bedroom and pummel him with his fists. Even drunk, his father's aim and punch carried great strength. He shook his head and stepped around a pile of newspapers, following a trail of tissues and discarded soda cans, not beer cans, toward the bedroom. Hand on the doorknob, sticky with questionable residue, he licked his lips. His father was dead. Long gone. He wouldn't see him on the other side. Shame washed over him. This sweet lady might need his help. She hadn't answered the door and her home had stood dark since t

Birthday Celebrations and Traditions for Your Characters

Courtesy of Yesterday was my granddaughter's eleventh birthday! I can't believe how quickly time has passed. Different cultures celebrate birthdays in a variety of ways. Even within the same culture, you'll see  differences. My family recognized my early birthdays with parties, cake, ice cream, and presents. As I got older, we shifted from parties to Mom making my favorite meal and baking the cake I requested. (Sometimes, I chose pecan pie instead of cake.) When my children came along, I threw birthday parties until they reached middle school. Then, the celebration shifted to something more family-oriented. Rather than fixing a requested meal, the birthday child picked a restaurant where they wanted to celebrate. Sometimes we did cake, sometimes we did special desserts at the chosen restaurant, their choice. With my grandchildren, we've altered the tradition a bit more. They have the party, but we also go out to eat on their birthday. So, last night