What’s The Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned: Words of Wisdom From Our Readers

yhosby:

Here’s a wonderful post that gives some insight into what readers think. Readers are everything in the publishing industry.

Originally posted on Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors:

About two weeks ago, Ruth and I asked you to send in your best advice on writing, editing, publishing, and marketing fiction. I am very pleased to say that nearly every day since my inbox has had wonderful messages from our many readers who were glad to send along their knowledge. Below you can see their comments, as well as wonderful pictures of them and their books. On behalf of the folks here at Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, we would like to thank you for your awesome contributions.

Here’s what our readers had to say:

AMZDEBBYCONRAD8 (1)

Write the story you want to write.  Be passionate, follow your heart, and ignore what others are writing.  Just be you.

Debbie Conrad

11040031_10152842272034234_773784495_n

Spell check. Spell check, spell check, spell check. After every draft, spell check. After every writing session, spell check. There are going to be things you missed, even if you think you haven’t…

View original 1,112 more words

Inspirational Quotes On Writing

These are my top three inspirational quotes on writing. They keep me from letting fear take over.

“Creativity is an act of defiance.”–Twyla Tharp

“Creativity takes courage.”–Henri Matisse

“Don’t be a writer; be writing.”–William Faulkner

For all the writers out there, are there quotes that touch your heart? Are there quotes that help you keep working even when you’re suffering from self-doubt?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Happy That I Found an Affordable, Reliable Editor!!!

I’ve heard horror stories of authors paying editors to look over their work. After payment, the editor vanishes (but responds if there’s a new email, thinking it’s a new client), continuously misses deadlines, or does a piss poor job.

Thankfully, I got over my fear and went looking for an editor–affordable, of course. I’m a poor writer. Don’t judge me hee hee.

The editor, Monica Shaughnessy, far exceeded my expectations! Her website is: http://monicashaughnessy.wordpress.com/author-services

I was going to settle on making Twisted Obsession a dark contemporary piece. No matter what I did, the suspense was lacking. Monica changed all of that. I appreciated her honest feedback. She was fast and efficient, never missing any deadlines. She gave me a “light” edit first, which contained a lot of helpful notes throughout my manuscript. Then, she provided me the developmental notes, basing everything on characters’ motivations, plot, conflict, etc (basically what readers look for in an entertaining story).

I loved all of her suggestions, especially the new plot outline. I have to rearrange some scenes and add new ones to make everything work. Monica really understood my characters Finia and Miki. And, she loved my ending. No changes in that department!

I’m so excited. I’ve been busy revising, so I can publish my story soon. I’ll need to find a book cover. Since I know the genre is suspense, I’ll look for an appropriate cover. I got a great response with my Plenty of Fish cover, so I’ll look for something like that.

Keep smiling,
Yawatta Hosby

Join National Readathon Day!!!!

I can’t wait for Saturday, January 24th!!! It’s National Readathon Day! Millions of readers will have their heads buried in the pages of books from noon to 4 PM. We’ll be reading in the comfort of our own homes, at the library, in cafes, etc. etc. It’s a chance to connect with other readers (hashtag #timetoread on Twitter) if you choose to make it into a local or online event. National Readathon Day supports a great cause–the National Book Foundations Literacy Program.

On Saturday, I’ll be reading at Daily Grind in Martinsburg and hanging out with my writing buddy Audrey (if anyone would like to join us). On Goodreads, I’ve committed to Troy Scott’s In the Devil’s Dream. I love a good scare! If anyone wants to read the same book as me, we can tweet and discuss it later :)

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=yahoawrsbl-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00O2QU9Y0&asins=B00O2QU9Y0&linkId=SUUP7DMWRZSITPJ7&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

For all the readers out there, will you be joining National Readathon Day? If so, what book will you be reading?

Keep smiling,
Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Forever In Hollywood By Jovana Rodolakis

23981002

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from the Making Connections group on Goodreads***

Fresh out of college, Marissa Pearson is ready to take on the world. That is, as long as the world isn’t confrontational. She never learned to deal with opposition, instead she runs from it. She ran from a violent boyfriend, a cheating husband, and now she’s on the run from Andrew Reed. He’s the sexy Hollywood playboy intent on nailing her down in more ways than one.

Long days on a movie set can bring people together. Soon Marissa finds herself falling for the wrong guy–again. When Marissa’s past catches up with her, in the form of a vengeful ex, she learns the price of running. But Andrew channels the heroes he plays on screen in order to give Marissa the strength to do the right thing.

Only when Marissa learns to face challenges thrown at her, will she also learn Andrew was the right guy all along.

I loved this book. It was written in Marissa’s first person point-of-view, so readers really get inside of her head to see what she’s thinking. I liked that she stuck up for her friend who was in an abusive relationship. Even though Marissa had a hard time standing up for herself, she remained strong for her friend.

Marissa was having problems with Dan, her cop husband. She didn’t trust him after he cheated, and he hated that she was planning on spending some time in Hollywood to work on a Revolutionary War movie. He was a prick and a coward! I hated him. She was new to the Hollywood scene but was able to make friends with the celebrities on set. I really liked her co-stars Billy (one of my favorite characters) and Andrew (he was so sweet).

My favorite lines: 1) “Pampers commercials don’t count.” I grumbled. 2) “How could two people who were once so right for each other, be so wrong together now?” 3) “So, I did what any respectable actress would do in my position, I lied.”

The author had a brilliant talent with dialogue and character’s voice. Every line sounded like a new actress, recently scorned, trying to adjust to her new life, while dealing with a creepy stalker–you’ll have to read the book to see this part because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. I loved the sense of humor, as well as the suspense towards the end. Andrew can be my hero any day!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Real Illusions By Tanya R. Taylor

23784030***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review from the Paranormal & Horror Lovers Goodreads group***

The mansion in the woods holds chilling secrets that have sauntered down throughout the generations. Trent Matheson, a victim of a brutal past he had absolutely nothing to do with is afraid of what lies within him. Struggling to live an ordinary life, he finds that the control he once possessed is slowly slipping away. The money, the power, the newly-found love…cannot subdue what is inherently a part of him. He is entering ‘The Season’ where he will be forced to face the essence of who he is in a fight for his very life.

Real Illusions offers a remarkable  edge where two storylines are intricately intertwined. It’s as if the reader is getting two books in one.

Let me start out by saying, this isn’t typically a book I read (so take my opinion with a grain of salt). I thought it would be more horror than paranormal/fantasy/supernatural (?)–I can never tell the difference between those. The book was okay. The story really didn’t get into ‘The Season’ or Trent going through his changes. I figured that was because the main character was confused and shocked with this new revelation, so readers were learning new stuff when he was. The story was interesting by showing the character’s dynamic with his co-workers and friends. Sounded like he was respected until…you’ll have to read to find out.

My favorite parts included the female main character. I loved her relationship with the little girl and her aunt when she moved to the United States. All this eventually tied into Trent’s life with a cool twist. The ending was my favorite; it was getting suspenseful, then it ended abruptly in a cliffhanger. I really wanted to see Trent find out the woman’s secret, but I guess that’ll be in the next book?

Overall, it was a good story. I just wish there would have been more showing instead of telling. At times the characters told what happened or what was happening, instead of showing it through a scene.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #30

The Weekend Writing Warriors is an awesome site that allows writers to share their 8-sentence excerpts, published or unpublished, to the blogosphere. If you’d like to join or would like to read wonderful talent, please visit the WeWriWa website on Sunday: http://wewriwa.com

For my story, it’s the ending of Sequoia thoughts, then Perry’s point-of-view is back!!! Imagine seeing your significant other for the first time since she broke your heart…

Here’s my excerpt:

The suitcases were heavy; if she hadn’t messed up, then Perry would be there to help. She sighed, holding back tears. What if the cast shunned her, making her an outsider? At least she knew she’d always have Kenley.

* * * *

Perry glanced down at his watch: where was she? It was almost time to board the flight and Sequoia still wasn’t there. He was sandwiched between Colin and Melody, who kept bashing Sequoia, trying to make Perry feel better, but only making him feel worse. Why couldn’t they sit in silence and let him think?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Weekend Writing Warriors Excerpt #29

The Weekend Writing Warriors is an awesome site that allows writers to share their 8-sentence excerpts, published or unpublished, to the blogosphere. It’s a fun way to get feedback on WIPs or to find new authors to read. If you’re interested in any of these options, please visit the WeWriWa website on Sunday: http://wewriwa.com

Here’s my excerpt on my story about a celebrity scandal:

“Sequoia, are you nervous about seeing Perry? Will you two get along for the sake of promoting your movie? Or do you think you’ll fight like cats and dogs, that whole sexual tension thing?”

“Perry and I are professionals. I’m confident that we’ll be able to get along, at least act civil when the cameras are rolling.” Sequoia swallowed a knot in her throat. Hopefully, she would be right.

She answered a few more questions, then they headed to the front door of the airport, escorted by Kenley’s boyfriend.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Fiendish–A Twisted Fairytale By Meka James

22375521***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Fiendish is a dark and twisted take on Beauty and The Beast. This story contains mature themes meant for readers 18+.

So what would you do if your prince charming turned out to be the worst kind of monster?

Calida Alexander moves from Charlotte to Atlanta after a painful break up. She faced some harsh realities about herself during that breakup and desperately wants to change who she perceives herself to be. When she meets Seth, she is drawn in by his sexy good looks and is won over by his gentlemanly demeanor. On the surface, he’s her dream come true.

Seth Jokobi is sexy and charming, the kind of man that women dream of being with. As a master manipulator, he uses his charm and good looks as a lure. His prey never suspect that lurking behind those piercing blue eyes and million dollar smile, lies a sadistic monster. When he meets Calida, her shy nature tempts him into playing a game where the stakes end up being higher than he could have imagined.

Can love really conquer all or is it sometimes just enough?

Warning: This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes some that may contain dubious and non-consent, adult language, and graphic violence and may be considered offensive to some readers.

I loved this dark, twisted story. I’m not going to lie, the length of the book scared me. I didn’t know if I could get through 600 plus pages, but I’m happy I took the challenge (which ended up not being a challenge at all. It was a fast read because I was engrossed in all the drama and conflict). The story was written through Seth and Calida’s first person point-of-view accounts. My favorite lines: 1) “You believing you know anything about me could prove to be a grave error on your part.” 2) Tonight wasn’t about sex, it was about power. 3) Her shy demeanor made me want to study her outside of the confines of my basement. For now at least.

The author wasn’t afraid to write in fear, and I respect her for that. Seth was a cold-hearted bastard and I loved reading every moment. He was sick and gave me the creeps. For example, one of his inner-thoughts was: Why aren’t you playing with her now? Using ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ put distance like a serial killer or multiple personalities. The entire premise: Seth owns Pets, who are women. Some he locks in his basement to torture, but Calida is special in his eyes, so she gets a different treatment.

He was very controlling. I liked that Macy, Calida’s best friend, had suspicions. It made the story more realistic. She kept questioning Calida but her low self-esteem wouldn’t allow her to leave him. Just my opinion, but I couldn’t stand Calida. She was too weak for me and definitely a Mary Sue type (but it fit the storyline). My favorite characters were Seth (the perfect villain), Macy, and Malcolm. They brought charm and personality where Calida was lacking.

Some parts were repetitive, especially in the narration, but that just boiled down to the characters’ obsessions with each other. I swooned during the steamy sex scenes and cringed in the abusive ones. Seth was definitely a prick. Besides their relationship, there was other tension. Calida had a crappy boss and her sister was awful. No wonder she held on to Seth for dear life, besides Macy, she really didn’t have anything else to be happy about. I did feel bad for her, especially her backstory with her ex. I cheered for her when she started to fight back with mind games towards Seth. Someone needed to put him in his place.

My favorite section was 77% to the ending. I couldn’t put the book down! All hell broke loose, and I wish the author would’ve spent more time on the aftermath of Calida seeing the basement. This section was very entertaining and I feared for all the characters. Seth was a controlling asshole, who was determined to harm anyone Calida loved if she ever dared leave him.

I’m looking forward to the sequel…broken characters are interesting to read about. Bring on the drama.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

 

 

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.