February Book News

Feb 2020From LISE McCLENDON

I ❤️ February! For lots of reasons: special birthdays, Valentine’s Day, it’s short and sweet and chocolate is usually involved… plus JANUARY IS OVER! Woo hoo.

This winter I’m trying a new book strategy. I’m an independent writer so I can basically do whatever, right? Well, the pressure is on, always, to publish. Publish or perish, as the academics say. So to keep things lively I decided to take a secondary character out of my Bennett Sisters Mystery series and do a trilogy of novellas about him. He is a popular character, the love interest of the main sister, Merle. Pascal d’Onscon investigates wine fraud for the Police Nationale in France. The three novellas, or short parts of one whole, start out dealing with a scam label on a bottle of wine. It’s supposed to be from a champagne-only vintner but it is not bubbly, it is flat. DEAD FLAT, you could say.

So that gets the party started in the department of Champagne, in northeastern France. Much of the series takes place either in Paris or in the Dordogne region, but this trilogy moves around, from Champagne, to the Dordogne, to Brittany, and back to Champagne. We learn about Pascal’s two sisters (so many sisters!) who live far apart. And more about wine and champagne as that’s Pascal’s business.

Part One of DEAD FLAT came out in December. Part Two was released in mid-January, and the final part, three, publishes in late February. All are on Amazon.

Happy  February!

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: All mysteriesI’m with Lise in celebrating the joys of February. The light is growing stronger every day, which makes our little hearts so happy! If you’re in western Montana and you get happy meeting authors, come visit with me at the North Valley Public Library in Stevensville, at 11 am on Saturday, February 8. We’ll be chatting about mysteries and much more, and yes, of course, I’ll have books with me to refresh your rapidly-dwindling TBR pile!

Come chat — I love meeting readers, and a Saturday morning visit will help make February scurry by!

Montana Women Write Blogs

my kingdom

 

By Janice McCaffrey

Authors of the Flathead will host their 30th annual Writers Conference September 2020. This group was established by local authors to support and encourage one another and anyone interested in writing. In 2013 a few women in the group wanted to learn more about self-publishing and promoting their work. Thus began Montana Women Writers.

The founders set up a website: www.montanawomenwriters.com with four pages. Home explaining the groups’ mission, The Women with member’s pictures and bios, The Words which highlights the author’s books with links to purchase them, and The View, a blog which promotes members’ work the first of every month through Book News and mww bloggers 4features individual members’ posts the other weeks of each month.mww bloggers 6

According to an online dictionary the word ‘blog’ can be a noun: a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, which is written in an informal or conversational style. Or a verb: to add new material to or regularly update a blog.

mww bloggersA description of blogs I discovered online says that some blogs are categorized by genres that focus on a particular subject—writing. It also says that collaborative or group blogs are written by more than one author and are usually based around a single uniting theme–Montana women who write.

I’ve looked over The View’s archives and see that originally each month had a theme. May was mothers, June, weddings, and each of the four seasons had a month to themselves. mww bloggers 5Also published were excerpts from member’s published books or works in progress, thoughts members had from their personal reading like a characters’ specific strengths and weaknesses, their circumstances, actions, emotions, or motivations and how each may have influenced readers. mww bloggers 7Other topics have included personal and/or writing goals or resolutions, life in Montana, lessons learned from the writing and promoting experience, inspiration, creativity, memories associated with holidays, seasons, family, and friendship.

With you I look forward to the original blogs that will be published in 2020. And I’ll watch for some flash backs that were posted over the years. And like you I’ll contemplate, learn from, and enjoy the thoughts my fellow Montana Women Writers share.

Let’s enjoy the adventure together.

January 2020 Book News

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Enjoy the adventures in the new year!!

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The Color of Morning by Bonnie Smith

“A day that will live in infamy,” Franklin Roosevelt said of December 7th, 1941, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. September 11th, 2001, is another of those infamous dates that stunned our nation. My home is in Montana, far from the mayhem unfolding on the East Coast that morning, yet I had a chilling connection to 9/11. My daughter was a flight attendant for United Airlines. Thankfully, she called to say she was okay. Others she knew weren’t. A classmate had gone down in Pennsylvania.

I understand why our military had to attack the Taliban. I expected we wouldn’t stay in Afghanistan very long. I believed the Russian experience there had taught memorable lessons. Then, in March 2003, for duplicitous reasons, our country invaded Iraq, releasing a fresh world conflagration of hatred and killing.  Worse, our military wasn’t prepared for the upheaval that ensued. And even when the lies that pulled us in were exposed, it was far, far too late to stop the carnage. Eighteen years later and still counting, American troops are fighting and dying in the Middle East. Personally, I ache for those who lose loved ones to irrational violence—and not just for our side either.  Though no bombs are falling in my backyard, I can imagine what it must feel like if they were.

So . . . as I’ve done in the past, I created a tale to share my side of reality. the color of morningFrom these imaginings came Claire and Luke’s story. While abhorring the cruelty of war, Claire loves Luke. And he loves her. But Luke’s a soldier—in every way loyal, responsible, and imbued with duty. For Claire, war is tragedy, plain and simple. No side will escape unscathed. No side does.

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New Year Book News from Betty Kuffel

For four days, January 23-26, my medical thriller E-books Fatal Feast and Deadly Pyre, will be  FREE on Amazon. I will post a reminder on Facebook just before the event to download them and tell your friends. Please write a review.

FatalFeastCoverE3Fatal Feast is set in Montana. A prion pandemic threatens the world as brilliant young researcher Dr. Callie Archer vows to find a cure for the aggressive variant of mad cow disease that killed her father. Like unstoppable super-bugs, the deadly prion proteins infect livestock and wild game, threatening world food supplies. Dr. Archer closes in on a cure, but murderous activists penetrate her lab, steal infected animals, and nearly kill her. Callie’s promising treatment may be the only hope to prevent a world-wide pandemic. With forces against her mounting, can she save mankind and herself?

5-6-2018 DEADLY PYRE new front cover

Dr. Kelly McKay struggles to complete her ER residency at Seattle’s Harbor Medical Center. Ferocious competition, burnout and an unpredictable lover complicate her life. Besides unexplained deaths of patients under her care jeopardizing her career, a sudden increase in stabbing victims points to a serial killer stalking women near the hospital. Will Kelly be next?

I hope you enjoy them.

Best wishes and happy writing in 2020.

Meet Ed Cal—The Writer’s Best Friend

claudette young

 

 

By Claudette Young

Who’s Ed? Why, your Editorial Calendar, that’s who.

Okay, so you write. Remember those “w’s” followed by the “h”? You know, Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

The answers to all of those questions resides on the pages of the writer’s editorial calendar. And if you’ve never used one or established a habit of formulating one at the end of the year for the next twelve months, stay put and I’ll explain why you might want to tackle this necessary writerly habit.

Who needs an editorial calendar?

  • Any writer who wants to keep a ready market to hand for their work
  • Any writer who freelances in any category
  • Any writer who works both as creator and editor
  • Any writer who works in multiple genres
  • Any writer

Why is a calendar necessary?

  • It allows a writer to anticipate possible markets months in advance
  • It allows a writer to track their progress on a daily, weekly, monthly basis
  • It provides guidance when the writer gets stuck on one project and needs to shift gears
  • It motivates the creative mind to keep creating
  • It stimulates the submission process by allowing for multiple markets for each project

How difficult is it to develop and maintain such a calendar?

  • Difficulty depends on the format used by the writer
  • Electronic (cloud-driven) editorial calendar systems are available for free online
  • MS Excel can be used for spreadsheet format planning and tracking
  • The writer decides on what is included (how detailed) on the calendar used
  • Some believe the more detail included on the calendar allows for less overall maintenance time needed by the user

What information goes onto the calendar?

Again, this depends entirely on the whim of the writer. For me, I’ve been excessively detailed and barely detailed. But then I use two different calendars. It’s every writer’s option as to how many calendars they need.

Let me explain. I write long and short. Short projects such as poetry, flash fiction, short stories, essays, etc. go on a specifically detailed calendar. Why?

I began my first calendars in cheap hardcopy ledger tablets. They had plenty of rows and columns for tilling with potential moneymakers. Now, I use Excel most of the time for my calendars. I have lots of boxes to play with for each project. That means whether I’ve begun a project or am just thinking about one. Here’s how it goes.

  1. Line one: Project name>Max length>Deadline due>Freelance/Assigned>Publication>DOS/Date of Submission>EDOR/Estimated Date of Response>Accepted/Rejected
  2. Line Two: Second Publication Choice>LDOSD/Latest Date of Submission Deadline>Rewrite from Different Angle Y/N>DOS>EDOR>Accepted/Rejected
  3. Line Three: Repeat of Line Two

As I said, this calendar style is for my freelance, short project side of things. I do hours of market research before beginning a calendar for the next year. I include contests, competitions of all sorts, anthologies, articles and as many diverse markets as possible. If I choose not to use some of them, no harm no foul.

My calendar is categorized by type of project, genre, audience, publication as indie or mass market.

For long projects, such as screenplays or novels, etc. I use a similar calendar style but without the same type of excess detail. For instance, if I want to begin a rapid-release series of novelettes/novellas on Kindle with a month/two-month release cycle, my calendar would look totally different and stand indecently of all others.

Why all emphasis on calendars?

The answer is simple. It’s how publication/publishers set up their coming year. Every publication, from major newsletters to international magazines, glossies or recycled paper, establish editorial calendars months in advance of a new year.

Themes for issues, special event issues, etc. are decided upon and carved in stone for the next twelve months. Guidelines are rewritten if necessary, whether agented-only submissions are allowed, and everything in-between is placed on the calendar used by that publication’s editors. It’s their publishing bible for those coming months.

If you freelance or simply work long projects, it’s always to your advantage to know what an editor is looking for as far in advance as possible. It allows you to plan, lets ideas percolate and put you in the driver’s seat.

So, how does a writer learn an editor’s expectations?

Simple, ask them. Go to the publications website or contact them directly. Introduce yourself and ask them if it’s possible to get a copy of their editorial calendar. Usually, the website has one ready for downloading or copying. Remember themes are established really early. You might as well get used to thinking ahead and plan accordingly.

If you have questions, ask them. You don’t have to go to the top for the answers. Find the name of an associate editor. They have much the same information. And they don’t always get lots of credit. It makes them feel good to have writers come to them as the expert. It could easily help later down the line, too, when you submit a piece for review. You have already established a minor relationship with one of the editors.

Takeaways

If you prepare even the most basic of editorial calendars, you’ll stay on track better, complete projects more often, and submit more often than without one. Think of it as your daily planner. Whether you freelance with small personal essays or big articles, poems or photos, Ed Cal can be the friend who smiles and says “Go for It” every week.

Editormial Calendars Available Online

 

December Book News

december 2019

Essex, Montana (goatlick.com)

Holiday train sets in northwest Montana!

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Cookie -- Alice BoatrightLESLIE BUDEWITZ: ‘Tis the season! I hear tell that it’s possible to celebrate Christmas and the other winter holidays in warm weather — sounds iffy to me! If you’re in NW Montana, I hope you’ll take part in the Kalispell Holiday Stroll on Friday, Dec 6 from 5-8, and visit me at Montana Marketplace (formerly Think Local) on Main St., where I’ll be signing books, including Chai Another Day, my newest release, and As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, set in the village of Jewel Bay.

And online, join me on my Facebook Author page for the “Cozy Up to Christmas” celebration, running through December 15. Guests, giveaways, conversations, and more holiday fun!

Wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, I hope this holiday season is filled with good food, good friends, and good books!

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Just in time for Holiday shopping, Plans Interrupted is now available in paperback at Amazon.com. plans book cover 2

Have you ever looked back and realized that your major plans have been interrupted? Have you ever willingly given up your plans for someone you loved? Have you ever wondered if it’s too late to revise your original plans?

Yeh, I have, too.

And here I am a sixty-something widow with only one plan left: a trip to Monaco so I could ride up the “To Catch a Thief” cliffside road wearing a long pink Grace Kelly-like scarf that catches the sunlight as it flies in the wind, and a visit to Princess Grace’s Palace. My last plan. What could possibly interrupt it? You’re not going to believe it. I wouldn’t either—except I lived it.

Enjoy and share the account of my adventure that took me from Marseilles, France, to Monte Carlo, Gibraltar, and through time. Would you risk your life and place in time to save an ancient civilization from extinction at the hands of marauders? Did I?

About the Author – Madge Wood:     I never thought about writing a book, but after what I lived through I just couldn’t contain myself. And once you read my story, you’ll know everything important about me and my life. (Can you keep a secret? I am the alter-ego of Janice McCaffrey)

Plans Interrupted is available in paperback and ebook at Amazon.com

Learn more about Madge at: madgewoodauthor.com  Face book/Madge Wood Author
Madge would love to hear from you, send a note:  madgewoodauthor@hotmail.com

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