Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Compound in Amazon's Top 100

I managed to get The Compound's Amazon price reduced to free recently. Which I'm really excited about. As a result in the last two days The Compound has been in the top 100 of two different Amazon categories! Bear with me because some of these categories are long.

Kindle's, ebooks, Children's, Sci-fi and Dystopian had The Compound at #8 yesterday and #14 today.

Kindle's, ebooks, Children's, literature and Short story collections had it at #28 yesterday and #29 today.

In addition, yesterday The Compound was #10,500ish in overall free e-books, but today it is #8,793. If you consider that this short story is competing with hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of other free e-books, then you know this is just as big a deal, maybe even bigger because anyone can see it and not just those who are searching Children's or Sci-fi.

If you haven't checked out The Compound yet, please do. It's free on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other places like Kobo, Sony, Apple as well.

Monday, July 29, 2013

4 Ways to Know You're not a Beginning Writer Anymore

I’d been writing for several years, soaking up everything I can and I knew I was getting better. I wasn’t as green as I used to be. I wasn’t making those dreaded “amateur” mistakes all the professionals were talking about. But I didn’t know if this meant I wasn’t a beginner anymore (To see what makes a beginner check out 4 Ways to Know You Are a Writer). I wanted a clearly defined line or test I could take that would tell me if the progress I was making was valid. At that time I found nothing, but if you’ve ever wondered that same question, then this is for you:

1.      When you notice beginning writer mistakes and cringe.

Noticing beginning writer mistakes in yourself and in others is a sign that you have come to understand the writing world. You are “in the know.” One of us. Knowing how to fix those mistakes is a whole other level, but recognizing them is a step in the right direction and knowing to avoid them means you aren’t a novice.

2.      When you read books on writing and you’ve heard much of it before.

This is big. If you want to write you have to read books on writing. Read as many as you can because each book approaches elements of writing differently and what you might not understand from one book might make more sense in another. I had the hardest time understanding the difference between “show and tell,” but after reading what several books said about it I was able to learn to identify it and avoid the “telling.”
3.      When you have read a book by someone else and you want to kill yourself because you will never write something that wonderful.

Beginners are passionate about their writing, but they haven’t matured enough to realize they really aren’t better than Hemingway yet or perhaps even the average published writer (Ahh, the horror). A maturing writer has come to understand their strengths and more importantly has come to understand their weaknesses. You may be a great writer about to blossom, but you will not write the best book in every genre and style. There will always be a writer out there who can write something better than you, but that’s good because it pushes you to be better.

 4.      When you can introduce yourself as a writer without thinking about it.

This means you find your identity in your writing. The first few times you start introducing yourself as a writer may feel weird, like you are claiming a position you haven’t earned or are trying to convince everyone else just as hard as you want to convince yourself. But if you say you’re a writer long enough, there will come the day when you believe it and another day when you can say it without thinking about it because you know it is true.

If you have connected with any of these then congratulations! Crack out the champagne or sparkling grape juice-preferable the white. You are moving up. You’re not a beginner anymore!

This post was originally posted on Write Over the Edge, a writer's blog I contribute to. Check out this and other cool posts!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Remembered Opening Poem

Before I even knew who the characters of Fadeout would be I had the words of a poem stuck in my head. I wrote the poem and then built a whole series around it. But the poem was always first and everything else flowed around it.

So as I was writing Remembered, the second book in the series, I began to think about possible poem ideas for this book too. This one instantly came to me and I wanted to give you a sneak peek. And if you stick around you may see a few chapters coming over the next few weeks.

The Robber in the Night
An Ajak Tale
On a warm summer day it is easy to believe in right
The world is spinning happily, turning bright day into night
You think you see a dust cloud, but you say it’s far away
You focus on your work and move on throughout your day
With the goats and pigs both fed and an apple on your plate
You don’t see the cloud is closer and will soon decide your fate
Then with an open window to let in more than the breeze
You drift off into nothingness while quiet hands do seize
All your wealth and freedom now gone without a fight
Each taken by the notorious, elusive robber of the night

Monday, July 22, 2013

4 Ways to Know You're a Writer

Being a writer can be something you know inside, but it is not until you see it that it is realized. If you know you’re a writer then this might seem a bit basic. But if you aren’t sure then this can help you recognize the desires you already have. Here are four ways to know you are indeed a writer:

1.      You’ve read something written by someone else and thought you could do better.

And then you actually attempted it. You sat down and put fingers to keys or pen to paper. It doesn’t matter if you succeeded in doing better or gave up in frustration. Just the fact that you tried means you want to write and create something.

2.      When you are inspired your first thought is to write.

What inspires you? It could be other stories, television or events and people, but if the first thought you have afterward is, “This would make a good story,” then you are already thinking like a writer. Although it may seem natural to you, most people don’t think that way, only writers do.

3.      You can’t not write.

The best reason to become a writer is because you have to write. If you have a passion that burns inside you, an itch to grab a pen and paper or place your fingers on keys and not doing so hurts, then you are a writer. And you will need that passion to make it through to your dream’s end.

4.      You want to be a writer.

This may seem a little obvious, but the desire to be a writer is not something everyone has. Sometimes talent has something to do with this, but sometimes it doesn’t. Just because a person can craft sentences that would make the hardest heart weep, does not mean this person wants to write or even cares that this talents flows from them. Our desires make us who we are and if you want to be a writer then go and do it! You may not have talent and you might have to work harder than any other writer you know, but if you want it hard enough you will be able to write and write well.

Even though these things are specific to writers, the principles are true for pretty much any occupation or hobby or dream. You’ll never know what you can achieve if you don’t try. I once had an artist tell me, “Anyone can paint,” and I remember thinking “Nuh-uh,” but in a sense he was right. Painting is comprised of knowledge: shapes and colors, shading and techniques. These things can be learned. Anyone can paint.

The same is true for writing. It’s a combination of words that convey information often in predetermined styles and with effort anyone can learn this. As great as talent is, without effort it will only collect dust and fade away. But with effort even the tiniest speck of talent can blossom into a flower bigger than you or I would think. It is not a matter of being better than every writer who ever lived, but being the best you who ever lived. There is only one person who can do that: You.

This was originally posted at Write Over the Edge where I am one of the contributors. Check it out for other great writing discussions!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Writing Exercise 5

So this one isn't from the book (Making a Scene), but I had so much fun I thought I should include it anyway. I got this from a Goodreads group, which had a writing contest. You had to write a short story or poem about the line: Love like there's no tomorrow. Live like there's forever. I thought I'd give it a little twist. ;-) Let me know what you think!

No one really knows how much time they have. It could be years or moments and I never really cared. Life was life. I spent most of my time drifting aimlessly, like a bee buzzing from flower to flower just following his nose. Whatever I wanted to do I did. Any carefree, just for fun, kind of action I was all over it. Anything that caught my fancy could keep me busy for hours. Boredom was just not allowed.

You wouldn't think a dead dog could change your life, but for me it did. I found it on the side of the road off in a ditch and half covered by the tall, dry grass, but the scent touched the air and told me where it was. I was just watching it wondering what happened when I saw her. Dark, almost black skin, bright eyes and slender legs. She was beautiful, a fresh breath of heaven.

I could tell from her size that she was a bit older than me, but that didn't stop me from getting a closer look. Still when she noticed me I froze, my tongue got all wet and then all dry so that I was afraid it would fall out of my mouth and onto the ground. Her eyes practically hypnotized me. I felt a bit dizzy and stared at her until her eyes doubled and then tripled all around me. I pulled myself away and tried to think of someway to break the ice.

"Hiii...." My voice caught.

"Well, hello cutie." Was she speaking to me? It looked like she was, but I checked behind me just to make sure I was the only guy about. The coast was clear.

"Where have you been all my life?" She was suddenly very close and now I was sure my tongue was hanging out.

I shook my head and managed to utter, "Waiting for you."

Like an angel she floated away and I bounded after her. Suddenly life was more than life. It was alive. Every day I'd lived doing whatever I wanted seemed like a poor, dull existence. I wanted nothing more than to be with her forever. I'd seen other girls but none were like her and I didn't even know her name. Together we landed on a low hanging branch and deep down inside I knew her name didn't matter. She was the fly for me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fadeout Review

I got a review of Fadeout!

I've been looking for reviews for my newest book and I asked Kindlemom from My Guilty Obsession because she had reviewed The White Lilac last year. She graciously accepted and read my book in record time. Just yesterday the review came out. She gave Fadeout 3 stars and had this to say about it:

"Anyone who has read any one of Adams' books knows that they are unlike anything else out there. Full of imagination and originality galore."

Yay! It made my day. :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

This Week: Giveaway and Interview Time

This week begins with a giveaway and interview at Every Free Chance. There will be 5 e-copies of Fadeout and 4 e-copies of The White Lilac available, but you'll have to act fast. This giveaway only lasts until this Sunday, July 21.

In other news I have several Read for Reviews coming up in Goodreads groups. If you're on Goodreads look me up. I love meeting new people and making friends. The same goes for Twitter and Facebook.

Update on Remembered: I'm still working toward a late-August publication date, but the timing might be tight. We'll see.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writing Exercises 4

Since my writers group had gone through the basic elements of a scene's structure, its beginning, middle and end. We moved on to chapter 7 in Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld, a writing book you should check out, on character motivation and development. There were several aspects of character motivation and development that should be included in every scene. Some of these include the motivation from personal history, intention the character has in the scene and making the end of the scene either more or less complicated.

Scene information: Write a story about a girl named Susi (or however you want to spell it) who is going skydiving and include all the elements of character development.

In this one I focused on making it More Complicated.

The rumble of the plane's duel engines shook every atom of Susi's body and the roar of the wind from the open door made her both deaf and blind. Clutching her phone tightly she almost snapped it in half when her instructor, a dark-haired 19-year-old guy tapped her should and pulled the strap of her goggles. She quickly slipped them on and rushed a panicked hand over her hair for any lumps. The guy gave her a thumbs up and began tightening the straps that connected her to him and him to the parachute.

A lurch of wind made the plane bounce and Susi fell back onto him, but he didn't seem to notice. She wondered if he was dating anyone, then she quickly shoved the thought out. Even though it wasn't official yet she fully expected to go to the prom with Logan. Something she'd been waiting six grades for and never thought would come true until he noticed her doing a flip on the bleachers.

"Wow, you're adventurous!" he'd said and he'd say it again when he saw these pictures she'd take with her phone.

The plane jerked even worse and then one of the engines puttered. An alarm flashed in the back of the plan. The guy patter her should and motioned that he had to talk to the pilot. Susi shook her head. They were so close. But he unhooked himself anyway. He hadn't gone two steps when one of the engines caught fire. The bump threw Susi into the wall and her instructor was sucked out the open door.

Scene information: Write a story about a boy named Karlheinz who is stuck in a tree and include all the elements of character development.

In this one I focused on making it Less Complicated.

Going up the pine tree had been much easier for 12-year-old Karlheinz than it was gong down. His fingers were coated in drying sap and stuck to the branches when he didn't want them to. Carefully he reached out with his leather dress shoes searching for the branch he'd seen, but he couldn't find it. His arms shook from the strain but his other shoe slipped on the loose bark.

With sweat dripping into his eyes he pulled himself up onto the bigger branch and rested with one arm around the thinning trunk. It'd been a mistake to wear his dress shoes and now he was stuck.

This was all Frau. Shubbert's fault. She'd told him the answer to his father's identity was at the top of the pine tree. He'd ran straight tot he tree and leaped from branch to branch until he'd reached the top, but his father's name was not there. Karlheinz wasn't sure what he expected but there was no treasure box or plaque. Nothing that would give him the closure he wanted. A name. Was it really to much to ask?

His fingers tightened against the bark, but as they did he felt a smooth section of bark, not at all the crumbly pine bark he expected. Finding strength he didn't think he had he pulled himself around to the other side. There in the center of a warn but deeply etched heart were the names Karl and Louisa. Louisa was his mother's name. His heart began to beat faster. His father was named Karl. Just like he was. The burden he'd carried for so long slipped away and he knew he could go home.

Your turn. Write the same scene and then toy with the development of your characters and making the elements of the scene either more or less complicated.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Hunt is Still On

Last week we had a treasure hunt and although I don't know how many people participated I do know that the prize is as of now still unclaimed. The rules still apply and if you want a free e-book copy of one of my books, either for you or a friend, now's the chance! Follow the trail! Don't get lost. :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Foolish Optimism?

I read an article recently that discussed the difference between hope and optimism that I found most interesting, especially since my post The End of Happy Endings. The article was called Why Hope isn't Just Optimism and it basically touched on how trusting in hope and trusting in optimism are really two different things.

Now it can be foolish to blindly trust in optimism. That's a great way to become cynical fast.
If you just believe that things will get better because...things get better, you are likely to discover disappointment. Being optimistic for the sake of being optimistic is not based on a solid reasoning or fact or even probability. Note: I'm not talking about optimism that is based on those things. There are many reasons to be optimistic, but blindly trusting that because you are optimistic everything will turn out for the best isn't a good reason.

Hope on the other hand, has to have an object to be placed on. You hope in a person, a decision, a dream, a future. I suppose it's possible to hope in hope, but I'm not even sure what that would look like. You can place your hope in something that is not worth of it. I can hope a chair will hold me and sit in it, but if it collapses then I placed my hope in something that I shouldn't have. Sometimes these unworthy things are obvious. I'm not going to walk across a river on a bridge made of spider silk. It won't hold me even if I'm optimistic. If I have found a way to combine spider silk into rope and have watch that silk hold the weight of a car, then it is reasonable to think and hope it might hold me too. Yet I am placing more hope in the technic used to turn spider silk into rope than I am the silk itself.

There's nothing wrong with optimism and hope isn't actually better than optimism. Both are important to a healthy lifestyle, because if you don't think things will turn out for the best and you don't have anything to hope in, your life will be hard and miserable. The danger comes when either of these are used excessively without a smidgen of realism. Optimism just needs to be grounded in the realm of things that are possible and hope needs to be placed on things that can see that hope realized. So what do you hope in? How optimistic are you?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! I'm going to be spending the day with my family celebrating the independence of the American colonies from England, with some great food and light displays. And I'd like to share the celebration with you!

As a little holiday fun/treasure hunt. I've posted the cover for Breakthrough, the 3rd book in And Carillians for the Machine series. But it's hidden on my Facebook page. The first person to find it and e-mail me with the correct location of this cover, along with the answer to "What appears 7 times on the cover?" will get a free e-book from Smashwords, your choice The White Lilac, Fadeout or Remembered (when it is released).

So here's the 4 steps:

1. Go to my Facebook page. If you want to like it that would be great, but not necessary, although I do post information there that I don't here.

2. Search for the Breakthrough cover.

3. Look at the cover and identify the 7 things that appear across it.

4. Send me an e-mail including where the cover is located, your answer to what appears 7 times on the cover and which book you would like to: adamschristinawriter@yahoo.com.

Enjoy the hunt! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Barnes & Noble

I don't normally post today, but I said I would post when The Compound finally made it to Barnes & Noble and it arrived in the last few hours. It's free on Barnes & Noble and I've also now added it to Amazon where it is .99. (Yep, I'm going to be rolling in dough.)

If you've ever wondered how long it takes for a story to be distributed from Smashwords to B&N, now you know that at least in The Compound's case it took a lucky 13 days from publication or 9 days from when it hit their premium status. I just know I'm going to have to come back to this post often to see how my next books and stories compare. Now that I'm actually paying attention to this. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Remembered Update

Now that The Compound is out I've returned my focus on Remembered (ACFTM Book 2). The problem is that it took me longer to get The Compound done then I planned and now I am not going to be able to make my overly optimistic hope of publishing Remembered by July 20th. I still plan to have it out this summer, but late-August is looking more like reality.

All this will be dependent upon me working fast and hitting no surprising bumps. Which doesn't seem likely not, but that's why they have the element of surprise attached to them. If I knew when I would have problems I'd be able to start fixing them today. If anyone knows how to predict such things please let me know! adamschristinawriter (at) yahoo. com or via Twitter or Facebook. Yep, I'm desperate. :)