Sunday, April 14, 2013

Things I learned at Mountain of Authors

Have I ever mentioned I LOVE the public library?
No matter what city I've lived in, I have never been disappointed. These people love books. They are books' biggests fans. Yesterday I attended a writer symposium/panel/event. Not sure what its label should be, but there were a couple panel discussions, time to visit with other authors, talk with industry professionals, and then the keynote speaker, Stephen Coonts.

Best comment of the day goes to Stephen Coonts. [and I'm paraphrasing here because I don't write fast enough] A classic is a book written for the general audience of its time. If you haven't written a book for popular consumption, you haven't written a classic.

I suck at marketing and promotion. Or, I take that back...I never really budgeted for it at the get go. I made sure I had a great editor and an awesome cover artist.

Know where you're going in the story. Have a destination. And like we've been talking about in my critique group recently, write the climax of the story first.

Know the audience and the market for your story.

And one last thing:
I think I'd like to go take a few creative writing classes. I've been a homebody for the last several years... barely getting out except to do the grocery shopping and an occasional outing with friends or the man. I'm feeling antsy, which is probably why--in a matter of a month or so--I've volunteered with the FRG, signed up for RWA and the local chapter, and committed myself to doing a bit more than is usual. I even got the kids registered with CYS--almost, which is the Child Youth Services on Post. I've been avoiding it, but the kids are anxious to do stuff, too. Play sports, get out of the house. And with the CYS comes access to some childcare. So, it will be good to step outside the comfort zone a little. Start next fall off with a class at a community college.

Anyhoo, that's all for now.
Hope you have a great week,
With Love,


  1. I took note of the quote you posted: "A classic is a book written for the general audience of its time. If you haven't written a book for popular consumption, you haven't written a classic."

    I'll have to remember it if I ever finish my blog post on literary fiction. I've often wondered why writers of literary fiction aren't churning out great novels one after another. The answer is in that quote. They aren't writing for popular consumption. They may be great writers, but the only folks that want to read their stuff are other literary fiction writers so they can get all excited over the language they use. The absence of a plot, real conflict, or anything of interest is secondary. Fortunately, there are exceptions, and then the stories can be great, but even though they say they can turn out great genre fiction anytime they want, for the most part... they don't.

    Good luck with the classes! And I've put the Savvy Authors on my resources page so I can check the out at some point.

    Also, as I recall, when you were first trying to get "For Love or Duty" together you were more concerned about even being able to write a novel let alone do marketing. You have to learn one thing at a time!

    Oh, and don't let all of this education get in the way of putting out that next book. That one book on your purchase page looks lonely...

    1. So true! such a good way to look at it, Kevin. I've come a long way since two years ago. :D It's all a learning experience. And yes, the book looks way too lonely. I have a book I pitched to an editor and if she doesn't want it, I think I will start the process of publishing it myself.


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