Is the Key to Writing – Reading?

Hey my awesome followers! We are one week away from the end of May – time seems to fly.  I don’t know if any of you know that I am an avid reader. I usually read (on my cellphone’s kindle app) about 3 to 4 books per month.  I have been reading  Sci-Fi futuristic romance to sort of gauge my work in progress (but mostly because I like the genre). Most of the books I’ve read are quite good.

Reading so much brings me to this posts topic- is the key to writing – reading? The answer in my opinion is YES! If you want to be a writer, an author, a blogger , a journalist anything that involves the art of writing you must first start by reading and reading a lot. Read as much as you can get your hands on. If you want to write detective stories then read as many as you can, if you like horror then read as many books as you can and see how others have perfected and constructed their stories. You will learn so much. It will not only be entertaining because it’s what you like, it will be educational and help you sharpen your skills as a writer.

Recently I downloaded a book from Amazon. I tend to read a few reviews before I download books. Most of the reviews for this book were not favorable. But I still gave the book a chance. I have found that in the past people have left negative reviews but when I read the book it turned out alright or better. And as an author I want to give other authors the benefit of the doubt and give their work a chance. Folks writing a book is not easy! 99% of the time it is a lot of hours of blood, sweat and tears! For many of us we are putting our ‘baby’ out into the world and hope that the world does not ripe it apart. Soooooo… I download the book, read a few chapters and the story starts to disintegrate and the reviews are spot on.

I learned so much from this book. Mainly – what not to do with my story as my story has similar elements. So the take away for me here was – give stories a chance even if the reviews are not good! The key is to read, everything- the good and the bad! The bad reveals the mistakes that you want to avoid, saving you heartache and headache in the long run. Was reading that book just painful – sure. Do I regret reading it? Hell NO! Because I read that disaster I have gone back into my ‘work in progress’ and have edited parts that I felt could use rewriting, reworking and clarification so my readers aren’t left as confused as those that read that other book. For the sake of that other author and for the sake of being brothers and sisters in writing I will not post the name of that book (or author) here.

Guys overall- always be kind to someone else’s work! Happy reading

xoxo~ Dalba

Writing Breaks…

Hey my awesome readers! My apologies for being MIA these past couple of weeks. The life of a part time writer is full of twist and turns most of which have nothing to do with my writing lol! So let me clue you in on what I mean.  Last month I started a new job, and what did this mean for my writing? Well it meant that I had to take a obligatory break from writing so I could make sure that I left everything in order at my old job and that I was ready for my new job.  Needless to say this took around six weeks. The transition was long and slow 😦

My writing is still progressing (a a snail pace).  I LOVE my cover (read about it in my previous post) so much that it has helped me to pen material for the second book in my series.  And Pinterest has helped me to keep the creative juices flowing with inspiration boards for my current work in progress and two other books! Check me out on Pinterest if you are curious as to what inspires some of my writing.

I have also been doing research as to how to improve my author website.  I’m not sure if I am really sending the message I want to send and might take the look of my author site in a different direction now that I have a cover and a theme for my writing developing so nicely into the paranormal romance arena. If any of you have some input on my site I would love to hear it! If any of you just wants to say hello I would love to hear from you as well!

As always happy reading! PS I will be updating my books to read tab soon with new recommendations!

~Dalba

Rounds of Editing

Hi all! I wanted to share my progress so far and the things I’ve learned.

My last update in September I was struggling to meet my publisher’s deadline. I ended up getting bronchitis and wasn’t able to submit my manuscript until six days after the due date. My publisher was cool about it, she let me know that I could submit when ever I wanted.

I have never gone through this process, I was super nervous about sending my work to a total stranger (the editor) but of course it’s just part of the process. Like all new writers I got even more antsy when I didn’t hear from my publisher after I had initially sent my manuscript.

So here we are a month later and after a week of trying to coordinate our schedules my publisher finally sends my manuscript back to me with edits. Guys I was fearful of even opening the email but I did. My greatest fear was that she would say that I was terrible and that my manuscript was garbage. She didn’t of course. She was very nice and professional and gave me the heads up that there were a lot of corrections. After seeing the corrections and comments I realize I’m terrible at punctuation!

I honestly thought it was going to be very bad (I think the publisher thought I would be offended) but I agree with most of the corrects and the suggestions made by the editor. Bless her heart she had to correct (or point out) the same issue over and over. Lol.

Anyway round one of editing is done. I’m not sure how long it will be before I hear back from my publisher, I don’t even know how many rounds of editing this manuscript will need. And as of now I don’t have a release date- and that’s okay! I rather make sure I publish a solid book and not rush a release. Will continue to update as the process continues. Catch you all soon!

Happy reading!

Dalba

Progress Update & Other News to Share!

Hi happy readers! So I have been awfully quiet for the last several weeks. I have honestly been super busy and just felt like I didn’t have anything interesting to share! I did have exciting things happening but I think I was hesitant to share because I did not want to jinx myself.

Sooooo let me start with the book progress and dets… I am currently well past chapter 30! But still have a little ways to go. My characters are still developing as each day goes by. So here is the bigger news… and one that I did not make lightly. I decided to go with a publisher.  I already know how hard it is to be a self published author, doing all the work on your own and trying to navigate by myself. This time I wanted to try something different.

After great self evaluation and talking to my husband I decided that I wanted to give a publisher a try. Mary (my publisher) offered me her knowledge, experience (she has published many of her own books as well as other authors) and support.  Secondly (and almost as important) there was no money upfront from my part.  I was always very weary of getting a publisher if I have to fork up some fortune, after all I am just starting out.

I have to admit I am still a bit nervous about this new relationship with the publisher. Its something completely new to me and I even have a deadline! The first ever (pretty scary). Since being in contact with Mary I have changed my manuscript (with additions, changes and even deleting several pages) several times… mainly because I am not sure if she will like my work. I believe that I have started to second guess what I am writing. I have written most of the book by now but I constantly find myself tweaking and rewording etc. Now I wonder if I will have my manuscript ready for the publisher in time (cringing!) Mary if you read this – don’t worry I will have it in time lol!  (Winks eye at all other readers!) But seriously I will 🙂

Whiff! Got that off my chest!  Honestly, I do feel the pressure right about now. With my deadline fast approaching and not wanting to let my publisher down (or myself) I ask that all of you send good vibes my way!

~Dalba

 

 

Visual Inspiration Board

Hey, awesome readers! I am back with this super quick post and book update.

As you know (on may not know) during my last update I revealed that I had a title for my WIP (work in progress) ‘His Forever’.  Since that last post, I have added several chapters, currently at 16 chapters yay! and the story is developing quite nicely and quickly.  So much so that a spin-off is for sure in the works.

Bigger new still is that I got a giant step and hired a professional cover artist! Can you believe that! She did an awesome job and she was so professional. I hope to have a cover reveal sometime later this year, maybe during the fall.  Tricia really helped me out and was very patient with me. Guys I really had no clue as to what I was doing when requesting a cover. All I knew was that I loved her work and was so excited that she agreed to work with me.  Her input with the whole cover process was invaluable! Ok enough gushing over her – she is totally going to think I am a weirdo- I’m not a weirdo just a fan!

Moving on the other book business – I am now on Pinterest!  Have any of you ever used Pinterest boards as inspiration boards? The possibilities with Pinterest are limitless! I have three Pinterest accounts. One for my lifestyle blog, one for personal use and this newest one for my author site.  I use Pinterest for just about any idea that pops into my head. I don’t have to collect paper and create boards like in the old days. All I do now is look up a topic – for example dragon shifters and all sorts of pictures will come up.  I invite you to check out my ‘Inspiration for His Forever’ board, and let me know what you think!

Until next time – and happy reading!!!!

An Update On My Progress…

Hi lovely awesome readers! I have finally gotten around to adding several chapters to my project and I feel very happy about my progress.  Last time I gave you an update I was about 9 chapters in and I am so excited to say that I have added two chapters with the creative juices already flowing for an additional chapter (Chapter 12).

My story has really taken shape and I have so many ideas and not enough time to just write them all down.  Time is always working against me.

For now what I can share of my book is that – it is Sci-Fi Fantasy Romance (I mentioned this in my previous post),  I may or may not have dragon shifters (still figuring this out), the story does not take place on earth (actually no mention if earth in the book, this might change), and a spin off is already developing for a second book to turn this into a series – The Dragon Talon Clan Series!

Oh –  I have not told you the best part! I now have a name for my book – “His Forever” The Dragon Talon Clan Series Book 1. So stay tuned for my next update!

Happy Reading!!

~Dalba

http://www.annestokes.com/

The writing process…

I’ve often wondered what is the writing process of authors.  How do they come up with the stories they write.  Do they pick a topic first? Does the idea just come out of thin air? Do they see something that catches their interest? Do they draw inspiration from art, nature, life?

For me – an idea just pops into my head and I can see the entire story unfold in my mind.  It’s like watching a movie from beginning to end.  The closest thing I can compare it to is like a complete rough draft just floating in my consciousness.  I don’t say – I would like to write about X, it’s more like the story dictates to me how it will be written. Does that make any sense? That’s how it was with my first book. That’s how it is for a couple of projects I have begun but not finished.  But with this new project (which I happen not to even have a title for!) I don’t know the entire story (plot). I’m actually letting this one develop and just go places that I have not gone before, especially with the setting.  Unlike my other projects that have been in the genre of contemporary, this one is more closely categorized as Sci-Fi fantasy Romance (a mouthful I know!) The setting is an entirely new world that I have to construct on paper. And this is hard!

But I have found inspiration in artwork from different artist such as Anne Stokes.  The feature picture in this post is her property. I love her artwork and would be honored if I would be able to get one of her dragon art pieces for the cover of this book.

Getting back to the writing process- I would love to hear how others write their stories! So drop me a comment below I love to hear from readers and writer!!!

~Dalba

Is it writers block?

Hi fellow readers! (and authors) After a what seemed like a very long week with a horrible stomach bug I am back to the blog to share my progress on the writing project I am working on. So for the past several months (probably close to a year) I have been working on a new book. So far I have written about nine and a half chapters. The writing has been slow, mostly because of lack of time. Too many things and not enough hours in a day. And with the start of my lifestyle blog Ideas By Dalba (check it out if you have not already done so) I just haven’t been able to really sit down and write.

But as the weeks have gone by I realize I have been hit with what I think is a case of writer’s block. While I do know what I want to write, in a general outline draft sort of way, sometimes finding the exact words to convey my thoughts and ideas and a compelling story eludes me.  Basically, I just can’t find the right words to create this futuristic sci-fi rough backward world that I have started to construct for my characters. While my first book was a contemporary romance (some might classify it as a cowboy romance) I have taken my new writing in a completely different direction and entered a realm in which I have to construct every single thing down to the last detail from scratch. Sure this is fun! Of course it is! Otherwise writers would not write fiction, but it also presents it challenges. It’s a lot of pressure to come up with this totally new world and environment and then add a romance that will keep readers engaged.

So yes, maybe I do have a case of writer’s block because I don’t know exactly what lies at the next chapter of this project. I hope to have this completed in 2017. There is no set deadline for myself since I am self-publishing.  Some advice out there is that the cure to writer’s block is to push through and just keep writing (writing anything) but I think for me short pauses are helpful! I will keep you posted and hopefully, I can post soon that I have advanced and have double the amount of chapters then I had before!

Happy New Year! and Happy Reading!

~Dalba

A Gift For Readers

With all the activity around Christmas and trying to figure out what to get who – I ask myself this question “Do people gift books anymore?” I actually have not received a book in years, and I haven’t given one as a gift in years as well.  Sure I have given children books as gifts because I guess I think it still very important for kids to hold a book to feel the pages to experience everything about reading and stories.

But as adults … is it still important? I come back to the same issue of e-readers vs. books.  Personally, I still read a good old fashion book whenever I can. But to be honest, more often than not I read on a mobile device. The convenience of not carrying yet another item with me to work or in my purse, a purse that sometimes feels like I’m carrying bricks, but I digress, is motivation enough to just read an e-book.  This is not to say that I won’t love a book as a gift! And this gets me back to books as gifts – is this old fashioned? Is it a dying thing amongst adults? Or do you not gift books because maybe you do not know the person well enough to pick out a book for them (reading is often very personal to each individual’s tastes)?

How about you – would you prefer to get an actual book or maybe a gift card to retailers such as Barnes & Noble or Amazon so that you can purchase digital books?

I leave you with these thoughts. Happy reading, feel free to comment below.

XOXO~ Dalba

Know the kind of reader you are!

Hey all! I recently came upon this – a personality quiz from Bookish.com. I thought it was a really cool quiz and tool for all of us avid readers. I personally have a wide range of interest when it comes to romance. I usually will read anything that falls under romance. I’ve read historical, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, suspense, paranormal and contemporary just to name some. Honestly, there are so many sub-genres of romance that there is something for everyone.  Categories can get quite complicated – for example under historical you also have regency, Scottish, medieval and victorian. When choosing books to read I go through phases. For several weeks I will only read one romance genre until I get my fill then I will read another genre and that’s how it goes. Eventually I do come back to genres. Currently I’ve been reading contemporary with a sprinkle of historical as you will notice from my to-read list on Goodreads.