• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

The Hard Questions

tree-rings

I was recently asked two questions. I wanted to address them here, because I often see these questions answered by authors, and it always interests me. All of us have come from such different places, and are inspired by such different things. It’s fascinating that so many of us became infatuated with writing.

  1. What made you decide to be a writer?

I don’t remember it ever being a conscious decision. My little sister and I used to share a room, and she’d have trouble going to sleep. I’d make up elaborate stories and tell them to her until she’d fall asleep. I loved creating stories, and she loved hearing them.

My next clear memory is of entering a Halloween writing contest at the library when I was in elementary school. I wrote a story, edited it, and practiced it over and over again. On the day it was due, I went to the library and presented it alongside some adults. I didn’t win, but I realized that I wanted to keep writing stories.

  1. What keeps you going?

I love writing. It isn’t just an escape for me. It’s an essential part of my happiness. When I don’t write, I feel strangely irritated. At first I don’t realize what’s wrong, and then I start writing, and the feeling goes away. I think everyone deserves to have something they are as passionate about as I am about writing.

And in the deepest part of my heart, I also hope that my words might give someone else an escape. That a reader might open up my book and be swept away by my world and characters.

If you haven’t asked yourself these same questions, maybe you should. It was kind of fun to stop and think about the answers.

Today Only “The Sea Goddess” Short Story FREE on Amazon

The Sea Goddess

For today only, I’m going to be giving away my short story “The Sea Goddess” on Amazon. As with all my experiences, I’ll write a blog about this later and let all of you know if it was successful or not. I’ve already had a giveaway for my novel, but I’m curious whether or not a short story will “sell” better or worse than a novel. And I wonder if, because it takes less time to read, I’ll have a better chance at getting more reviews.

Either way, feel free to check it out! Here’s the link: The Sea Goddess on Amazon

Kindle Select- One Day Giveaway (My Experience)

Kindle- Goddess of the Sea Photo

The most important thing to me right now, as a new writer, is to get readers. I want people to enjoy my writing, and I want to hear their feedback, so I know what I can do to continue improving as a writer. So far, I’ve given away a short story on Smashwords and had about 300 downloads over the course of a couple months. Then, recently, I gave my novel “To Kill a Wizard” away for one day on Amazon, and received about 100 downloads. Of all those downloads, I’ve only had a handful of reviews.

So, I’m torn a little (so far) about what I think about giving away my work. It is possible that 400 people have read and loved my work, read it and hated it, or that it is just sitting on their Kindle, waiting to be read. But what I do know, based on my experience, is that giving away my work didn’t have a significant positive impact right away. My hope, at this point, is that these attempts to get my work into readers’ hands will be like everything else in writing, more of a long-term battle.

Like my post?  Check out my personal blog: Lisa Morrow

Plotter verses Pantser

autumn-sky

Some writers plot out each detail of their books long before they’ve even started writing. Other writers don’t plot a thing. They just let their characters guide the story. Still others, like myself, are somewhere in the middle. I’ll share the way I typically write my stories:

  1. I come up with an idea and type up a brief summary.
  2. Immediately, I start writing the first chapter.
  3. Usually I get a few chapters in before I realize I need more guidance.
  4. I go and expand my summary and create sections about the “world” of my novel and the “people” in my novel.
  5. Next, I go and write down the names of each character, find a picture that suits them from the internet, describe their personalities and their physical aspects.
  6. Then, I continue writing.
  7. I usually get a few more chapters in before I realize I need to do a short summary of each chapter.
  8. And that’s it! I keep writing, expanding on the document about my book, so I have it for reference.

Important things I’ve realized:

  • If I plot things out too much, I don’t enjoy writing the story.
  • If I don’t plot out anything, I end up wasting a lot more time.
  • I HAVE to have a word document specifically dedicated to important information about the world I’ve built and the people in it.

So I think I’m somewhere in-between a plotter and a pantser. What kind of a writer are you?

Amazon- One Day Free

Amazon Image

Is anyone else’s stomach twisting like a porcupine’s trying to tear its way out? Oh then, it must just be me. My book, “To Kill a Wizard,” has been out since June 30th, and so far, I’ve only sold a handful of copies. Depressing, right? Well, as a new author, I didn’t expect to be carried on the shoulders of my waves of readers, but I’d hoped for more than this. But then, my initial plans for promoting my book kind of didn’t work out the way I planned. So today, I’m giving away my book for free on Amazon. Which brings me to the topic of today’s blog… I’ll let you know what I did wrong, and then, what I’m trying now when it comes to promoting my book.

Initial plan:

  • Give away a free copy of a short story, in my novel’s world, to generate some readers for the novel.
  • Release “To Kill a Wizard” a few weeks later.
  • Promote on Twitter, Amazon, and blogs.
  • Wait for the orders to roll in.

Okay, so at this point, I’ve had about 300 downloads of my short story from Smashwords and a handful from Amazon. I have no idea how many of those copies have actually been read, but the overall feedback has been excellent. However, not many copies of my book (as I’ve said) were actually purchased after that point. And the big issue, I’d hoped Amazon would “price match” (although they technically say they don’t do that) my short story and make it free on Amazon. Weeks later, they still haven’t, so there is no free story to entice Amazon readers to give my novel a shot.

New Plan:

  • I’m giving away a copy of my novel on Smashwords.
  • I enrolled my novel in KDP Select, at least for the first 90 days.
  • I’m doing a “free day,” where my novel will be free.

So that brings me to my “free day” on Amazon. It’s today! I have no idea how it will go over. Maybe I won’t get a single download. Maybe I’ll get a bunch of them. Either way, I’ll update all of you, so you know whether it was worth it. Wish me luck!

And if you’d like to download my book, check it out at: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Wizard-Roses-Story-Protectors-ebook/dp/B00X4XR32I/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1436653857

Goodreads Book Giveaway

goodreads

I’m a writer, not a marketing guru, so I feel like I’m constantly scrambling to figure out how to use all of the tools at my disposal. Today is the day my book giveaway should be starting on Goodreads, and I honestly have no idea how it will turn out. In my research, I found mostly contradictory “facts” about how to have a successful campaign. So, I chose the suggestions that worked best with my current situation, which are as follows:

  • Keeping my giveaway short. It’ll only last for one week. But by doing this, I should come up on Goodreads lists as both a giveaway ending soon and a new giveaway. Hopefully, this will bring me more exposure.
  • Giving away one copy of my book. Some authors gave up to fifty copies away, but most later decided to only give away one or two copies, saying the results were close to the same. And as a new writer trying to limit my expenses, I thought testing this marketing strategy with just one book was the smartest way to go.
  • Including an autographed copy. A lot of authors said this encouraged people to enter the giveaway. No idea if this will matter, but I thought it was worth a shot.

I plan to update all of you on the results of my giveaway, so you can benefit from either my success or my failure. If you’re interested in entering the giveaway, you can find it here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

The Mysteries of an Author’s Brain

Neat Glass

My writing ideas come from a variety of different places. A lot of the times, I’ll have dreams that are so real and unique that I immediately run over and write them down, so I don’t forget. Later on, I usually find my dreams don’t logically make a lot of sense, but I start to mull over some of the more interesting parts, and usually before the day is done, I’ve got a great story idea.

Another way I come up with my ideas is that I’ll think of a really challenging situation or a really unusual character. Then, while I’m going about my day, I’ll slowly build on that single idea until I’ve got the plot for an entire book.

I often read about author’s running out of ideas. I’m not worried about running out of ideas, so much as, I’m worried that I’ll never find the time to take the best ones and create something really spectacular with them.

Struggling for ideas? Here are some suggestions:

  • Find a picture online and try to write something about it
  • “People watch” when you’re out and about. See if you can create a story behind a person.
  • Look for an unusual object and tell the story of where it came from and how it ended up there.
  • Listen to a song and see what it inspires you to write
  • Think of a really neat setting and build a story around it

How do you come up with ideas?

“To Kill a Wizard” is Available on Amazon

I know I just published my first short story on Amazon, introducing people to the world of Tarak, but now the first novel in the series is also available. It is absolutely amazing to see two and a half years of work finally being “completed.” So much about being a writer is working alone, just hoping that someday, someone, might see your work. To be at this point feels even more incredible than I ever imagined.

If you’d like to check out my book, here is the cover and the blurb:

Book- Without Back Cover- 1500Pixels

When eighteen-year-old Rose is chosen to join a mysterious order of women known as The Protectors, she hopes to escape a forced marriage and a miserable life. Instead, she unveils the dark secrecy surrounding The Protectors, and uncovers the horrific truth behind their power source. With her loyalty in tatters and her best friend’s life held hostage, she must learn to unlock the powerful magic slumbering deep inside her.

But time is running out.

The Undead Wizards, a dangerous enemy, have re-emerged from the Underworld, plunging The Protectors and the kingdom into a brutal war. Unfortunately, The Fates decree that Rose is the answer to the war may cost her more than she ever imagined. To win, she must decide whether to join them and betray the man she loves, or risk the annihilation of all she holds dear.

Book Covers and Blurbs with that Extra Something

Creating a cover is such an emotional process. “They” say the two things that help to sell your book the most are the cover and the blurb. It’s heart-wrenching to create a book that makes you sing with pride, but worry that no one will ever read your story if the cover and blurb aren’t good enough.

Luckily, I have a friend who has some computer magic and was excited to use it on my book cover. It was awesome to sit down together and come up with an idea of what I wanted it to look like, but then to actually have him create it. Because the truth is, I have some skills, but creating an amazing cover is not one of them.

I also luckily have an amazing group of writers, the 7 Evil Dwarves, who were willing to look at my blurb and help give it that extra something. Most people have no idea how hard it is for a writer to try to sum up their book in just a few paragraphs, but trust me, it’s painful. A special thanks to Jami Gray who sprinkled some writer-magic on it.

After several drafts, and countless hours spent constructing my vision, here is the cover to my first young adult fantasy novel, along with the blurb:

Book- Without Back Cover- 1500Pixels

When eighteen-year-old Rose is chosen to join a mysterious order of women known as The Protectors, she hopes to escape a forced marriage and a miserable life. Instead, she unveils the dark secrecy surrounding The Protectors, and uncovers the horrific truth behind their power source. With her loyalty in tatters and her best friend’s life held hostage, she must learn to unlock the powerful magic slumbering deep inside her.

But time is running out.

The Undead Wizards, a dangerous enemy, have re-emerged from the Underworld, plunging The Protectors and the kingdom into a brutal war. Unfortunately, The Fates decree that Rose is the answer to the war may cost her more than she ever imagined. To win, she must decide whether to join them and betray the man she loves, or risk the annihilation of all she holds dear.

What are some of your favorite blurbs or covers?

Like my posts?  Check out my personal blog: Lisa Morrow

Books by Lisa Morrow: Lisa Morrow Author Page

The Sea Goddess is Available on Amazon!

I’m so excited to announce my first short story “The Sea Goddess” is available on Amazon today! It has been such an amazing struggle to get to this point, and I am so thankful for all the support I’ve received from friends and family. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them. And, of course, that includes my 7 Evil Dwarves. There’s never been a better group of writers to work with!

If you’re interested in checking out “The Sea Goddess,” here is the cover, the blurb, and a link to Amazon:

The Sea Goddess

The Goddess of the Sea no longer cares just for sacrifices; she’ll punish all those tainted by blood on The Feast of Darkness.

On this cursed night each year, The Goddess’s powerful magic lingers in the air. The moon and seas turn red, stirring violence in all those creatures dark of soul. Lady Dessi Quinn has vowed not to leave the castle on such a dangerous night. Instead, she longs to explore the strange connection between Lord Smit Croswell and herself, even as she tries to deny it.

But as the night progresses, events outside of her control force her to make an impossible choice. A choice that will throw her into danger and change the course of her life forever.

If she can survive it.

Note: “The Goddess of the Sea” takes place in the world of Tarak, but readers can either enjoy this short story before or after “To Kill a Wizard.”

And if you’d like to, I’d appreciate anyone interested in leaving a review!

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