Hey, Did You Know There’s a Military Writers Guild?

So I learned a couple days ago there’s something called a Military Writers Guild!

I found this out when I was reading an article in Defense One – an online military magazine – about how the military needs to innovate more like Silicon Valley. It’s a favorite talking point for people whose deepest subconscious desire is to have a threesome with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

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How to Self-Publish a Book

Greetings my dozens of fans!

(…Is it presumptuous of me to assume I have fans in the double digits?? Probably, but I feel like indulging my massive ego today!)

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been hard at work getting my next novel, The Colonel and Her Sergeant, ready for publication on June 14th. I’ll post more about my future Pulitzer Prize winner later.

(I’m just gonna assume the Pulitzer Prize committee accepts self-published novels. NO I’m not going to Google it…my kids tell me if I just believe enough all my dreams will come true so I’ma gonna do that cuz as you know, in reality Donald Trump is my boss so it’s off to fantasy land for me!)

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The Colonel and Her Sergeant Cover Reveal and Release Date!

Coming on June 14th 2019!

Through the din of the military ball, Colonel Anna Archer heard him laughing. Turning, she saw a tall young man with olive skin, black hair slicked back into one thick wave to stay within Air Force regulation, service dress cutting his torso into a sharp inverted-A. Chatting with a group of friends, he laughed every time one of them told a joke—young people.

An enlisted man. She turned away…

From the moment she saw the young, dashing Sergeant Victor Shamrock, Anna knew she wanted him—and that desire would be the end of her. For in her position as a colonel—a rocket launch commander, no less—romantic relationships with lower-ranking soldiers are strictly forbidden.

But when she’s passed over for a promotion in favor of a man with less experience, Anna begins to question the military culture she dedicated her life to. She made her career by conforming to a man’s world, by suppressing her feelings—by denying her womanhood. In a painful reality check, she realizes it wasn’t enough.

Now she can’t deny who she is anymore—a woman who aches for love, no matter the cost.

The Colonel and Her Sergeant is an epic story about all the ways love can hurt and heal us, trying to reach for the stars in a world holding you back, and finding the strength within to rise from the ashes of tragedy.

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5 Reasons Why You (Probably) Shouldn’t Query Literary Agents …And What You Should Do Instead

It’s the Wheel of Query Responses Lady again! I remember you. I hate you.

A few posts back, I answered the question of “Should I hire a professional editor before I self-publish my novel?” (TL;DR answer: probably not). In that post, I mentioned I was on the cusp of recommending writers not bother querying literary agents at all.

After years of personal experience in the self-publishing and traditional publishing worlds, and after hearing about other authors’ experiences, I’ve now officially reached that conclusion—don’t query literary agents. It’ll almost certainly be a negative return on your investment.

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5 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before You Start Writing

[This blog was originally published in Night Owl Reviews]

Ah sweet Jughead – bearer of the dumbest hat and stupidest name in all of Riverdale – will you ever finish your terribly pretentious book so the world may finally understand your misunderstood genius??

In my last article, I discussed how authors often fall into the trap of obsessing over irrelevant character details at the expense of info that matters. You don’t need to know everything about a character, only certain critical details: desires, strengths, and weaknesses. The same holds true for starting a story: you don’t need to know everything, only certain things…but you NEED to know those key things.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Never Skip The Inciting Incident

[This blog was originally published in Night Owl Reviews]

“Hmmm…I need to start my story off with a bang because I’m told your average reader is a narcoleptic millennial with ADD…I’m just gonna start it in the middle I guess…Dammit, why is writing so hard??”

Maybe I’ve been cursed by the book gods and need to sacrifice another virgin at the secret blood altar they keep in my local library’s basement (all the best libraries have one), but I’ve had crap luck with books lately. I’ve DNF’d the last four out of five books I’ve read, primarily for story mechanics issues. They’ve either dragged or didn’t establish a solid foundation before jumping into the action, or just weren’t very compelling stories. I’m a slow-as-shit reader, so slogging through a book I’m not that into can take weeks to reach the payoff of a “meh” experience. If a book doesn’t hook me within the first ~30%, I peace out and move on.

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Forget Your Protagonist’s Favorite Color: The Only Thing You Really Need To Know About Your Characters

[This blog was originally published in Night Owl Reviews]

“But what should my hero’s favorite color be? Dammit, writing is so hard!”

Please don’t tell me you’ve got a binder or notebook stuffed with pictures you found on the Internet of what your main characters look like, along with facts about them like their favorite color, the first song they danced to, their ideal vacation spot, etc. I mean, you can do that if you’re bored…okay I did that on my website as part of a promotion for my book Reckoning. But don’t mistake this for character development, because it’s not.

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How To Create “Real” Characters

[This blog was originally published in Night Owl Reviews]

Another terrible Hemingway quote. Why was this guy popular again?

Characters in your head are not real people, no matter what a platitude typed in Corsiva font scrolled across a picture of a quill tells you. They are not people, and they don’t do anything you don’t make them do. To think otherwise is to have a fundamental break with reality, and please see your doctor to adjust your medication dosage accordingly.

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Please Excuse The Mess

This little guy is working super hard over here!

Greetings all my One True Fans! (it’s like being the One True King from King Arthur, but with better benefits like free books and not being killed in a holy war)

I had to change my website theme recently due to my previous theme becoming obsolete and unsupported with the latest WordPress update, so now the formatting is a bit screwed up. So I apologize to all you poor souls who might click on a link and be despondent to find it goes nowhere, or be confused by a strange color scheme or weirdly formatted or outdated text. I promise I’m fixing it! …Specifically, I’m harassing my IT department – aka my husband – to please fix it asap. Thanks for your patience!

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