1. Fitness

Your legs and feet are the only advantage you have over a mermaid. A mermaid cannot jump, kick, or run. Train hard, build strength, be nimble.
1 Fitness

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The Frankfurt book fair released an annual report of international book market trends, The Business of Books 2015. It contains publishing industry statistics and observations from the past few years. Here are my key takeaways and thoughts on what this all means for indie authors.

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On his way to his goal, your protagonist will likely come to a time when he needs to get information out of someone. How do I sneak into the fortress? What do you know about the dognapping? Where have you hidden my MacGuffin?

First of all, don’t make this easy for your protagonist. That’s conflict. That’s the heart of a story. The more valuable the information, the harder he should have to work for it.

To write this scene, exploit your protagonist’s strengths and the opponent’s weaknesses. This can manifest in a variety of ways. Let’s look at a few examples.

Continue reading my guest post at Writers Helping Writers

Header image via flickr

A good book launch party should be about the guests as much as it should be about your personal achievement. Your guests are there in support of you, so make sure you greet them with food, drink, entertainment, free swag, and the chance to win prizes.

The preparations are a lot of work, but this step-by-step checklist should help reduce that feeling of floundering aimlessly as your launch day approaches. Start planning 3-4 months in advance, and don’t be afraid to accept help from those who offer.

Book launch party checklist
Click the image to see the graphic, or click here to download the PDF. Read on to see my thoughts and recommendations for each list item.

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Finding beta readers and hiring a structural/substantial editor is a vital part of writing a book. Yes, a copyeditor is necessary too, but don’t overlook the importance of getting input on the broader aspects of your story. Even if you’re an expert storyteller, other people will see places for improvement that you won’t. So after you’ve finished your manuscript, take those extra steps of hiring a professional structural editor and seeking out a few beta readers to make your book the best it can be.

Of course, having people tell you everything that’s wrong with your story is painful.

advice on editor feedback

Here’s my advice on accepting feedback from editors and beta readers…

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This writing prompt was part of the Indie Fall Fest—several weeks of author interviews, giveaways, fun questions, guest posts, and more. The challenge was to write about a character who has one of your bad habits, and in which that bad habit gets out of hand.

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If epic battle scenes make such exciting climaxes, then a whole book full of them would be like the most exciting story ever, right?! … Right?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve skimmed pages of pointless fighting in order to get back to the plot.

Writing a book about a war promises excitement, but like any aspect of writing, you need to be writing epic battle scenes carefully in order to see them at their full potential. Let’s look at five essential guidelines for writing epic battle scenes.

Continue reading my guest post at Helping Writers Become Authors

I hopped through more than 70 book blogs this week to promote the release of Ice Massacre. The blitz included a signed paperback giveaway, free Kindle promotion, excerpt, interviews, and guest posts. Below are a few of the stops.

Author Tiana Warner and her mermaid pod at the Ice Massacre launch party, September 18th 2014. Click to see the photo album.

Author Tiana Warner and her mermaid pod at the Ice Massacre launch party, September 18th 2014. Click to see the photo album.

A pod of mermaids was spotted Thursday night in English Bay, Vancouver. Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of this elusive species as they made their way across the beach and into the Boathouse. Men were warned to stay away from the group, as mermaids possess a supernatural allure that has lured sailors to their deaths for centuries.

“People don’t realize this species is dangerous,” says Tiana Warner, spokesperson for the mermaids. “They can turn from beautiful to deadly in the blink of an eye.”

Ice Massacre was released yesterday on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. The launch party was a huge success—a real dream come true. I can’t possibly express how grateful I am to everyone who came.

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I was talking with a writer friend recently, and we got into a discussion on traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. She’s been querying agents like crazy. I’ve been doing self-publishing prep like crazy. She was surprised to find out I didn’t even bother trying to get an agent or traditional publishing contract.

Why would I do such a thing? Why would I not even try to get a publisher?

I’ve done a lot of research on the matter, and while both approaches have advantages, I decided self-publishing was a better option for me. Let’s talk about why.

Continue reading my guest post at The Book Designer

i enter the barn at the end of the day
worries and stress squeezing my shoulders
scrunching my brow
and hitching my breath

halter on and brushes out
i tie the lead rope and pull back my hair …
and i’m angry.

but i can’t let her feel my stress
or she’ll bolt faster than light before my foot hits the stirrup
so i curry in slow circles
over her neck and shoulder and haunches
hearing her sigh and stomp and swish
and i let the rhythm lull me

i can’t let her feel my anger
or i’ll eat dirt faster than i can say giddy-up
so i brush in soft flicks
watching the dust curl in the rays peeking in
smelling the hay and grain and wood
and i let the tranquility calm me

i can’t let her feel that stab of sadness
or she’ll go where she wants despite my commands
so i brush her face with the softest touch
and she closes her eyes and leans into the bristles
i feel the tickle of her mane on my skin
and i let the serenity cheer me

and i brush and pamper ‘til her red coat gleams
and i rub her mane and tail with sheen
she’s beautiful, shiny, no dust to be seen
and all that dirt is on my face and my jeans …
and i’m happy.

dedicated to Bailey