#IWSG Blog Hop–Will I Ever Be Able to Market Myself?

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It’s that time again. IWSG hosts a blog hop the first Wednesday of every month. Writers get to discuss their doubts and fears they’ve conquered, their struggles and triumphs. Even though writing is a lonely activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through.

Showing vulnerability makes you strong. If you’d like to read more from bloggers who shared their personal experiences, then please click here.

May’s question–What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

This month I chose not to answer that question. Instead I’d like to discuss my fears on marketing myself as an author. I published my debut novel back in 2013–4 years ago, and I swear I’m probably still at the mediocre level of “marketing” myself as an author that I was back then. I’m proud of my blog. I really am. It has over 200,000 hits. However (there’s always a but), the majority of my hits come from visitors  interested in my INTJ posts. That’s not my readership…I introduced book reviews and author interviews to my blog, hoping to find readers. I don’t have a clue if I met my goal or not of reaching readers interested in the horror and suspense genres.

I’m hit or miss on social media since I don’t use it quite often. I mean, I love twitter but more as interacting with people interested in my favorite tv shows. I feel icky whenever I tweet something about myself. I’m not one of those authors who constantly tweet “buy my stuff!” I hate Facebook. No one ever sees my posts because I refuse to pay anything to boost (or promote) my stuff. I will say that I’ve made a lot of connections with comic book artists and novelists in my Facebook groups. Again, not my readership…The best way I’ve reached readers is through Goodreads. It’s been a slow process but well worth my time. I’ve made genuine connections by being a reader myself on the site.

I need to find a way to create a happy medium for marketing myself. No one will be able to find my books if I don’t share that they are out there. I’m not charming enough to sell myself in person. The only way anyone has known that I write novellas is when someone else spoke up for me ha ha. I’m good at passing out business cards, but I need to create an elevator pitch to sell myself. I’ve been at this for 4 years–I need to do better.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m even in the right field. Instead of creating fiction, maybe I should have been a comic artist or graphic novelist (drawing is my favorite passion)? Or a screenwriter?

I study constantly what works for other authors and then try to implement those strategies. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Knowing marketing is all about experimenting, I don’t mind that aspect. I just wish I could find motivation to promote or market every day. I wish I had that hustle that most self-publishers do.

I need to do better. I will do better. Or will I?…I hate this self-doubt that I have, but I can’t seem to fight it off.

Let’s try this again–I need to do better. I will do better.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

I’m Not A Celebrity, But I Got An Interview Anyway :)

JD Byrne is a fellow West Virginian writer. He’s a fantasy and science fiction author. Check him out if you like to read those genres. JD was nice enough to give me an author interview. I haven’t had one in a long time ha ha. Please click on the link if you’d like to read it–Author Interview Yawatta Hosby

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

#IWSG Blog Hop–Reworking an Old Story

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It’s that time again. IWSG hosts a blog hop the first Wednesday of every month. Writers get to discuss their doubts and fears they’ve conquered, their struggles and triumphs. Even though writing is a lonely activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through.

Showing vulnerability makes you strong. If you’d like to read more from bloggers who shared their personal experiences, then please click here.

March’s question–Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

I believe in Stephen King’s advice of giving yourself permission to write a shitty first draft. I’m talking NaNo where chunks of unusable stuff is added just for word count. I’m talking every scene having ten billion characters in each one, trying to get my full attention. I’m talking the beginnings starting way too early, yet the endings stopping too abruptly.

Let’s just say, my first drafts are a hot mess…

I’ve pulled out really old stories to rework them. Case in point–I published Something’s Amiss in 2014. I had written the first draft back in 2011! I remember because I was working on it when I was teaching creative writing through the ACE (Adult Community Education) Program. A friend had recommended Author House after using the company’s services. I googled them and decided to stay far away! Too many red flags…

So, not really knowing how I could publish my story, I kept it on my flash drive and moved on until years later. I opened up my poor, abandoned, dreadful story and patted myself for not publishing it back in 2011.

There was massive head hopping between Poe and Oliver, scene to scene. I had a bunch of boring scenes (according to the critique partners I had found). I thought I had written a romance, but the romance readers would’ve eaten me alive. Apparently, Oliver wasn’t manly enough, and Poe wasn’t likeable enough.

After getting feedback from two critique partners, I decided romance wasn’t a genre I was interested in writing. I had to do a massive rewrite on Something’s Amiss, deciding women’s fiction was my best bet. No more head hopping. No more boring scenes. Just a man who loves a woman while mourning the loss of his cousin.

After creating my second draft, I found a new critique partner. Someone who liked the genre I was pursuing. She was great. She even gave me tips on how to write sex scenes. If you ever read my book, pages 32-35 are pretty graphic haha.

It was a fun challenge, bringing my story to life. If I would’ve given up on it because it’d be too hard to revise, then that would’ve been my loss. Looking back, I’m happy I didn’t self-publish in 2011 because I still had a lot to learn. Back then, it was a foreign concept to get feedback, then improve my work in progress. I thought a story was complete after I wrote ‘the end.’ It wasn’t until I found Absolute Write Forums that I learned the proper process of writing and publishing. I researched for two years, publishing my debut novel, One By One, in 2013.

Thanks for listening. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that out loud…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Interview With Tanya R. Taylor, Author of Infestation

In celebration of Women’s Horror Month, please welcome my special guest Tanya R. Taylor, author in mostly the paranormal/supernatural genre. Please enjoy her insightful interview.

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1. Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?

I would say make sure to study the craft before publishing because you want to ensure that what you produce for the public is as well written and professionally presented as possible. No book that I’ve ever seen, whether it was Indie published or traditionally published, is error-free, but at least we can strive for ‘near letter perfect’ as a seasoned agent once told me. So, once you’ve written the story you’d love to share and have covered these bases, you’re good to go.

You may find that some people you think would automatically support or encourage you with your creative endeavors actually don’t. They may feel that you’re just wasting your time, but if that happens, don’t be discouraged. Use it as fuel to move forward and accomplish your dream of becoming a published author.

2. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I am so grateful to all my readers — many of whom have also subscribed to my newsletters. Sometimes when I don’t quite feel like writing, I think of all the people who are looking forward to my next release and there’s no way I would let them down. The procrastination disappears and I immerse myself in the new world I have begun creating in my mind.

3. What are your thoughts on the fact that both trade and self-published authors have to promote their own work?

Some people believe that traditionally published authors just sit back and relax while their publishers handle all the marketing. Not true. It’s still that person’s book and although they’re under contract, the publisher expects them to be proactive right along with them when it comes to promoting their own title. Indie authors obviously must market as well in order to see a good number of sales. I know it’s not an easy task for writers who are not good at marketing and would rather just write, but in order for your hard work to pay off financially, you must view it not only as a hobby, but as a business. Every successful business regularly implements promotional strategies. Marketing helps visibility and visibility often leads to further sales.

Choosing not to promote can keep a good book “hidden” for years and even decades to come.

4. What genre do you write for? Your favorite aspect? Your least favorite aspect?

I write mainly paranormal/supernatural, although I write in other genres as well. I love getting into these types of stories and feeling what my characters feel. And I try to present a good theme regardless of how eerie, scary or troubling some events in the story may be. My favorite part is when something really touching comes up and my own emotions are stirred even though the story is purely fictional. There’s nothing about writing these types of books that I don’t like.

5. What are your current/next projects?

I’ve just released a drama titled ’10 Minutes before Sleeping’. There’s nothing paranormal about that, but it’s a powerful story nonetheless. Now, I am working on ‘The Haunting of Merci Hospital’ which will be released on April 30, 2017. Then onto the fourth book of the Cornelius Saga – ‘We See No Evil’. I’m also wrapping up a ghostwriting project and will have to get back to adding more books to the Real Illusions series since some readers have been asking me to not end the series with part 4 which was my intention. After receiving another request recently on my Facebook page to add more books to the series, I know I must include that project in my schedule for this year as well. I aim to please my readers.

6. How do you find time to write?

Sometimes it’s really tough to find time to write with so much going on from day to day. But I treat my writing as a priority by scheduling time into my day whether it be early in the morning, late at night or both, for working on my projects.

7. Did you always want to become an author?

Always. I was writing stories from very young.

8. Is there any writing rituals you complete before creating your manuscripts/drafts?

I take time to envision the plot, then I start an outline. I try to follow that outline as much as possible, but oftentimes, my stories take on a life of their own and I go with the flow. However, the main parts of the plot I always manage to include.

9. Do you write the beginning/opening first or do you tend to write out of order (with whatever scenes interest you the most)?

I always write the beginning first.

10. While you were writing, did you ever feel like you were one of your characters?

Oh, yes. Some of my characters have some of the same characteristics as I do.

11. How did you come up with the title?

It usually just falls into my head. I don’t have to brainstorm.

12. What inspired you to write your latest book? What is the book about?

‘1o Minutes before Sleeping’ was on my mind for about two years. I had learned about a mother who was having a tough time and as I thought of her, I got ideas about a fictional story involving a young woman who’s been pretty much rejected and abandoned by those who should have loved and cared for her. As those ideas came, the entire plot unfolded in my mind.

The story takes the reader on a journey of a lady named Eva — from her infancy to adulthood — and the things she suffered along the way. There was a time when she found happiness for the first time in her life, then tragedy occurred. Eventually, it seems as if things are beginning to improve, then a series of events take place that culminate to something completely unexpected. It changes Eva’s life forever. This story is quite touching and wasn’t so easy to write due to some of the scenes.

13. Any blogs, websites, social media you’d like to share?

Thanks again, Tanya!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Excerpt: Hell Hath No Fury by Tamela Miles

In celebration of Women’s Horror Month, please welcome my special guest Tamela Miles, author of the Hell On Heels series. Today, she’s sharing her excerpt from Hell Hath No Fury, book 3 of the series, and sharing her thoughts of how femme fatales make horror awesome. Please enjoy.

Horror and Femme Fatale

by Tamela Miles

What is a good horror story without a femme fatale? It makes for dry writing for me if I don’t have a murderous villain with evil in her heart, wearing a pair of 5 inch heels. Cascadia, one of my darker villains, is just a baddie to the core and I had a blast creating her scenes as she torments my beloved Elle, the good hearted but tough demon hunter from my Hell On Heels series. Anyone expecting Cascadia to change her wicked ways is in for major disappointment. She’s bad to the bone, as are classic femme fatales, and that’s what makes her so much fun. Enjoy the read!

Excerpt from “Hell Hath No Fury” (#3 in the Hell On Heels series) :

~Dusk had come to Los Angeles, and Cascadia groaned in agitation, her overwhelming need to feed keeping her from fully concentrating on anything else. She was holed up in one of Pyro’s larger homes, high
above Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills. No one but he and the human evening nanny he had hired knew she was there, guarding the hunter’s child. She considered draining the nanny once she arrived and
leaving the body floating in the massive pool just outside the patio door to show Pyro that she had her limits.

She glanced dispassionately at the baby, sleeping in the carrier on the plush sofa next to her. She noted the child was still breathing before returning her attention to her cell phone. A dead baby would spoil Pyro’s plan, and she solely would be on the receiving end of his wrath. She tapped the screen, relieved that the call didn’t go to voicemail. He answered immediately. She put a touch of venom in her tone. “I’m hungry and tired of babysitting duty. It cried for an hour straight, and I was tempted to suck the life out of it. Where’s the night nanny?”

“That would be a costly mistake, my sweet. I need the child alive for my plan to fall into place. Once the nanny arrives, you’re free to satiate your hunger. Not a moment before.” He ended the call abruptly, and she
fought the raging urge to break of one his priceless art pieces. She would quietly bide her time in a subservient position, waiting for Pyro to make a mistake.~

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Buy Links:

Hell Hath No Fury (Hell on Heels Series)

Heart of a Hunter (Hell on Heels Series)

Dark Deliverance

Author Bio:

Tamela Miles is a California State University San Bernardino graduate student with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a former flight attendant. She grew up in Altadena, California in that tumultuous time known as the 1980s. She now resides with her family in the Inland Empire, CA. She’s a horror/paranormal romance writer mainly because it feels so good having her characters do bad things and, later, pondering what makes them so bad and why they can never seem to change their wicked ways.

She enjoys emails from people who like her work. In fact, she loves emails. She can be contacted at tamelamiles@yahoo.com or her Facebook page, Tamela Miles Books. She also welcomes reader reviews and enjoys the feedback from people who love to read as much as she does.

 

Six Plus One Completed During Women’s Horror Month

Celebrating Women’s Horror Month really motivated me to get my butt into gear with editing Six Plus One, not only edit the darn thing, but finish. Last month, I spent 7.5 hours editing my thriller horror novella. In February, I’ve spent 14.25 hours so far.

Tonight, I can say I’m finally finished! Now, it’s in the hands of my writing buddy Meka. She’s been awesome, already looking over my story once before. We’re both in the 365 Writing Club and keep each other accountable in reaching our writing goals. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. She had reached out to me when I was in a dark place. My health was plummeting. I was depressed. It seemed like no critique partner would stick around after they got feedback on their own work. I was lost, thinking I’d never be able to publish again. I’m one of those writers who value feedback from critique partners and beta-readers to help improve my WIPs before submitting to editors.

My novella is at 32,326 words right now. When an editor gets ahold of it, hopefully by their comments, my word count will increase. If not, that’s fine too.

When I published my debut novel, One By One, it was meant to be a standalone novel. That was back in 2013. Man, time flies! But, I felt like I wasn’t done with the concept of characters getting terrorized and killed in the woods, one by one. So my sequel idea was born. Alta and her friends are from Voy, the place Kenan and Rae had horrible memories of. First, psycho hillbillies murdered their parents in front of them 10 years ago in their vacation home. Then, their friends are tortured and killed years later.

Alta and her friends are well aware of Voy’s tragic past. What happened 4th of July weekend is mentioned quite often. I’m hoping people will have read One By One first before buying Six Plus One. Otherwise, spoiler alerts!

I’m proud of myself. I’ve been through a lot, taking everything in stride. With Meka’s help, I realized I didn’t need part of the story back in Voy. A decent ending was right after the massacre finding out who the killer(s) is. So, I deleted all of that extra section. It had a different tone than the rest of the story, more quiet, more depressing. I don’t want readers getting bored over mopey situations. I want them sitting on the edge of their seats ’til the very end.

Hopefully, the editor I want will be available when I need her, and hopefully my funds will be okay. Hospital bills are no joke! I’ll find a book cover soon, then it’ll be almost time to publish Six Plus One! I can’t wait. I see all these awesome authors releasing books back to back. I want to join them. 🙂

Soon, I’ll write another post giving more insight into Six Plus One‘s plot and characters. I may even share an excerpt. I’ll also mention how my DIY MFA helped me stay on track with editing my story at a later date. If I can keep up with this schedule, then I’ll be able to release more than one book a year.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Spotlight: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

In celebration of Women’s Horror Month, I’d like to share my love of comics. If you follow my blog, then you know a couple years ago I took two free online comic courses, one through Kadenze and one through Coursera.

On my quest of making comics, I came across the talented Emily Carroll’s artwork. She was born in 1983 and graduated from Sheridan College’s Classical Animation program. I look up to her because she creates horror comics. She showed me that women can be accepted to create whatever they want instead of being forced to stick with quirky love story comics.

I own her book, Through the Woods, and let me tell ya, it’s a must read!

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‘It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’ Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss. These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll. Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there…

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Showing some vulnerability (totally blushing!), I’m sharing some of my 24 Hour Comics Challenge I created last year–October 1, 2016 to be exact. My horror comic was about me and a group of friends hanging out at a camp fire…until we weren’t. Emily’s journey as a horror comics creator had been my inspiration.

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Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby