My Writing Life – Tina Folsom

Tina in her office

Tina started writing in earnest in 2008 and is the author of nine full length novels and a number of short stories  in the paranormal and erotic romance genre. She’s a self-publishing success story, having sold more than 450,000 copies of her books in both print and eBook formats. Her most popular series, Scanguards Vampires, is sold in 4 languages (English, German, French, Spanish) all over the world, and she has hit the top 100 Bestseller lists not only in the US, but also in Germany and France. Here’s a sampler of her Scanguards Vampires series: Samson's Lovely Mortal (Scanguards Vampires #1) Amaury's Hellion (Scanguards Vampires #2) Gabriel’s Mate (Scanguards Vampires #3) Where do you usually write? Ever since we moved into a larger apartment about a year ago, I … [Read more...]

Muse vs Market – The Best Path to Indie Success

Indie superstar turned publishing house darling Amanda Hocking was highly tactical when she set out to be successful at writing books. She did field research – studying bookstore shelves. She did industry research, and studied sales data. She read the competition. According to a New York Times Magazine profile, she figured out that romance was “an evergreen when it came to popularity”, so, check, romance it is. She noticed, too, that paranormal elements helped lift books off the shelves. And so she set out to write vampire romances, and moved beyond into trolls, a wide open field that was pretty much hers alone. Hocking is a good writer, but so are a lot of poor and unread people. She became a millionaire writer by adhering to the market as much as the muse. Bella Andre is another … [Read more...]

My Writing Life – Hugh Howey

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Hugh Howey has spent time as story-spinning yacht captain before settling in Florida. He is the author of the bestselling Wool series -- originally just a novelette, the demand from reviewers sent him scurrying to write more tales of this subterranean world. The resulting Omnibus has been optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film, and Random House will publish the hardcover version in the UK in January 2013. What was the first eBook you published on Kobo? The WOOL OMNIBUS. I had several readers get in touch and ask me why my books weren’t on Kobo. At the time, it required publishing through other resources, which I never felt comfortable doing. When Writing Life opened up, it was like a brand new and shiny bookstore suddenly sprouted up on every block … [Read more...]

Talk About Dialogue – The Booklist

Compelling, believable dialogue can make or break the success of your book. There is a craft to it – check out these guides and books for tips plus great examples to help you along. Paula Berinstein Berinstein offers a number of lessons – and insights – into what makes dialogue work. It’s not all talk. Writing Dialogue 1-5 Chris Roerden Filled with great advice on lots of techniques including dialogue, Don’t Murder … is recommended by Paula Berinstein, the host of The Writing Show, author of a number of books on writing, and the guru who has helped a number of authors improve their work. Don’t Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A. Gloria Kempton When should your character talk, what should (or shouldn't) … [Read more...]

Make your characters talk good – elements of dialogue

We learn to talk as toddlers, we do it every day, you’d think it would be a snap to write, right? Not so fast little author, Dialogue can be the heartbeat of your book of fact or fiction. It can also be the clunker that pulls a reader right out of the story and into another book. And it can be hard to master. What follows is an adapted excerpt from Paula Berinstein’s book Writing Dialogue and part of a series of lessons on the art and craft of making your characters talk good – that is, in a believable way that propels your story forward. In this first lesson Berinstein discusses the importance of character “agenda.” Your characters need to have a specific agenda every time they speak. Effective dialogue is purposeful. It is the means by which characters reveal their goals and … [Read more...]

The Case for Beta Readers

A great book is most often a collaborative effort despite what we know about the loneliness of the craft of writing. Editors smooth out the narrative and copyeditors ensure pristine spelling and grammar. But a lot of self-published authors also find value in giving their manuscripts or unfinished, unvarnished work to what we call “beta readers”, those “testers” who can report back honestly on whether the story is working and the characters seem believable. We turned to a number of our successful Kobo Writing Life authors for advice on how to build a team of beta readers who can help you hone your craft. How do you choose a beta reader? Choosing a beta reader is largely trial and error says speculative fiction author KC May. “I recommend a critique exchange site (such as … [Read more...]

In Collaboration with Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch

In collaboration: How (and why) to write with other people Blake Crouch is a prolific writer of thrillers, horrors and paranormal adventures, an author with some 13 novels under his belt plus novellas, short stories and collections. He has collaborated with other writers on several books, the most recent being Eerie, which he wrote with his brother Jordan. Eerie will be available on Kobo September 15, 2012. We asked about how and why he writes in partnership with others: Usually we think of writing as a monastic activity but you have collaborated on several books, with several people. Why? Before I collaborated, I was wary of the process. Writers, by their natures, are control freaks, and I'm no exception. I want to approach a story in the best manner I see fit. That … [Read more...]

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