Welcome to The Writer's Challenge

I'm updating weekly-ish and whenever something exciting happens, so please come back often, browse the archived information,
and use the search feature to find information!
Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last Day of NaNoWriMo 2010

Hello Fellow Writers!
Today is the last day of NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft of Protecting Emily, and while I didn't get to 80K like I hoped, I did get to 72.6K before the story wrapped itself up naturally. I'm going to go back and reread it and probably find some places where I need to expand.

This month has been fun, but crazy. It is definitely hard to write 50K in a month, but last year was a cake-walk compared to this year. That extra 22K I wrote was hard on me - and my poor hubby, who was bemoaning the fact that he missed me by the last week of the month. Oh, and there were those first 5 five days where I wrote 15K and then tossed it all out to start over.

Next year I will only write 50k. Maybe 60K.

I started re-reading through my first draft, and I'm enjoying it! How's your first draft feeling? Did you win NaNoWriMo? How was your experience?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Got my Cover Art for Hollywood Spank!

I don't usually (um, ever) post twice in one day, but I had to share!
Thanks to Syneca, cover artist extraordinaire at Ellora's Cave, for my hot new cover for Hollywood Spank! Hollywood Spank is my third Ellora's Cave book, release date TBD.

2014 UPDATE!!
Three years after selling Hollywood Spank to Ellora's Cave, I got the rights reverted back to me, and I re-issued the book myself, in ebook and in paperback. I also got a brank-spanking-new cover from SelfPubBookCovers.com :)

Here's the new cover!

Winning NaNoWriMo

Hello Fellow Writers!

I thought this cat pic was too funny, and strangely apropos since my printer is going to need a new ink cartridge for me to print out the 200 pages of fiction I've written in the past 23 days. Oh, NaNoWriMo, how I love you. Motivation and a tight deadline do wonders for me.

I had a great time last night doing a chat with Ellora's Cave readers. I've never done a chat before. It was fun! I felt like I was at a party, almost, albeit a party where I couldn't see anyone.

With one week left in the month, I'm only at 57K words, and I want to be at 80k. My mother-in-law is in town so hopefully she can babysit the tot so I can write!

Looking to write fast so you can win?
Here're my tips for winning NaNoWriMo:
1. Don't fix typos, just keep going. You can fix them later.
2. If you forgot your Hero's eye color, make up a new one. Fix it later!
3. Pretend if you don't keep your fingers typing they will fall off. Now write! Quick, they're going to fall off!
4. Write everyday. Even if you have no time to write, force yourself to put in just fifteen minutes. Every word you add to your count is one less word you have to add later.
5. Add a sex scene. Add another.
6. Have fun. NaNoWriMo is only 10% torture, 90% fun. Remember that when you start slipping into torture mode.

How's your NaNoWriMo novel coming along? Will you win?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Berengaria Brown: "Keep reading, keep writing, keep polishing"

Hello Fellow Writers!

NaNoWriMo is moving along swimmingly. I don't really "has writerz blox", I just love funny kittehs. I'm at 42K, which, if I was aiming for the traditional 50K goal, would be way head of the game - but since I'm aiming for 80K, I'm pretty much on track. I'm in the middle of the book now, trying to avoid the dreaded "sagging middle". The important thing that I keep reminding myself is that the characters have to have both internal and external conflicts that affect their relationship.

Today I'd like to welcome multi-published author Berengaria Brown to The Writer's Challenge. Her new book “Eternity” is available now from Siren Publishing.

Shoshanna: How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
Berengaria:Intensity”, my first book, was published in April 2010. I had been writing seriously about a year at that time. I had several books published, at several different houses in quick succession, because while I was waiting to hear back about each book, I kept writing, and I sent each book to the house I felt it was best suited to.

Shoshanna: What's your favorite writing tip?
Berengaria: Never give up. Keep reading, keep writing, keep polishing. But also, read the submission guidelines of the house you are interested in very carefully, and make sure you follow them as best you can.

Shoshanna: Have you ever gotten a bad review? What do you do - how do you feel in a situation like that?
Berengaria: Not a bad review but several mediocre ones. Several times reviewers have said that they didn’t want a short story to end. Sadly, by definition, a short story is short. I am always grateful though, that inundated as they are with books to read, they have taken the time to read my book.

Shoshanna: You have a new release out now, right?
Berengaria: Yes! “Eternity” is a stand-alone story set in the same world as “Intensity” and “Complexity” with some of the same characters reappearing.

Shoshanna: The cover's so hot, I can't show it on here! Click here if you're an adult and want to see a *very* spicy cover for Eternity.

To read an adults only excerpt and buy Eternity, click here.
Check out Berengaria Brown's blog here.
Visit her website here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why Editors Rock

Hello Fellow Writers!
So we're on day 13 of NaNoWriMo. I've got 28K words of my post-apocalyptic erotic romance Protecting Emily - my goal is 80K. I've got a *lot* of writing to do!

Today I went to the monthly Hudson Valley chapter of RWA meeting. It was great seeing everyone I usually only see online, and we had a guest speaker - Trish Owens from Wild Rose Press. She seemed to know her stuff, and since I've read a book she edited (Taryn Kincaid's Sleepy Hollow Dreams) I felt comfortable asking her if she'd be interested in having me send her a short story (10K words). Yes, she is, so I'll be polishing and sending it off to her soon.

One of my fellow Ellora's Cave authors, Christie Butler, just had her first book come out! It's called Look at Me. Of course, I emailed Christie to ask her some questions!

Shoshanna: Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? I'm doing it for the second year in a row and it's all I can think about lately...

Christie: This publishing business is new to me, so I have to confess I didn't know what NaNoWriMo was. So, no, I'm not doing it. After looking it up, it seems like a fun thing to do. Unfortunately, I also have a full time job and the cutest, most lovable dog in the world who demands a lot of my spare time! I think it would be tough to do, writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I applaud all those authors who are able to do it. Maybe someday, if I can make enough money writing so I can quit my day job, I'll give it a shot.

Shoshanna: So you sold your first book - but the work doesn't end there, as you know. How was the editing process for you?

Christie: The editing process was fairly painless, much thanks to (my Ellora's Cave editor) Jilly. She gave me some things to think about, tips on how to make the story more logical and consistent. I was able to use her comments and make some minimal changes to benefit the story and make it better. Jilly also helped me with my main character, making suggestions that I initially resisted, but I came to see the wisdom in her words! Overall, I enjoyed the process and saw it as just another step in getting my story out there, but new and improved.

Shoshanna: Oh, Jilly will be glad to hear that! I feel the same way - I'm happy to do whatever it takes to make the story the best it can be. So, here's another question for ya. How do you combat writer's block?

Christie: When I get writer's block, my first tactic is to pour a glass of wine! Often that will help my mind expand. When that doesn't inspire me, I just put it away, close up the laptop and do something else. Sometimes I'll get an idea of how to move forward form something I hear someone say at work, or on television, or read online. Because I work during the day, I do my writing at night. When I get stuck, it stays with me and often I'll find myself in bed trying to fall asleep, but thinking about my predicament. And then it will come to me. I've gotten some of my best ideas in those few minutes at night just before I fall asleep. I just need to remember them when I wake up in the morning.

Shoshanna: I keep a notepad and pen at my bedside for just that reason, lol! Thanks for being on The Writer's Challenge, Christie, and good luck with your new book, Look at Me.

Read an adults only excerpt of Christie Butler's new book here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free read on Whipped Cream!

Hello Fellow Writers!
I have a free short story available on The Long and Short of It Whipped Cream site. Click here to read Hannah's Consequence for free! And please, let me know what you think :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Do Reviews Affect Overall Book Sales?

Hello Fellow Writers!

I was on the Ellora's Cave chat loop and multi-published, NY Times and USA Today best selling author Allyson James (who also writes as Jennifer Ashley and Ashley Gardner) made some really great comments about how reviews, as heart-breaking or as exhilarating as they may be for us as authors, actually have little impact on sales for that book. I asked Allyson if I could share her comments with you here and she agreed!

Allyson James:
"I've been around the publishing block several times now and have had every reader rating from 5 (this is the best book ever and all other books should cease to be) to a 1 (I took it back to the bookstore and demanded an apology).

"I've had people rip me apart for too much heat, not enough heat (usually about the same book), too much plot/not enough plot (again, same book), dialog, character, word choice, cover model, lettering on the cover, driving distance, you name it. I once had a reader give me a 1-star because my couple wasn't white. I've been trashed on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, and Twitter; and have been trashed by RT, Publisher's Weekly, and others, sometimes weeks before the book comes out.

"The point is that having bad reviews hasn't marred my overall career. I've had terrific sales on books that got bad reviews, plus terrific reviews and awards on books that tanked. Many, many bestselling authors out there have had the same experience.

"There are plenty of nasty things that can totally ruin your career (publishers closing, booksellers severely cutting the number of books they carry, readers unable to find your books, pirating, and many, many other uncontrollable factors--isn't that nice to know?), that it’s kind of futile to stress about reviews, good or bad. I know it's hard, but please, please don't let worry over your reviews stop you from writing.

Allyson (been kicked around) James
What do you guys think about reviews - reader reviews, official reviews? Do they make a difference on your decision to read something, or buy something? Authors, do reviews make a difference in your sales?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I gave up on my NaNo and Started OVER!

Hello Fellow Writers!
It's Day 6 of NaNoWriMo, and you'll never guess what happened yesteray. I got to 15,500 words and just was like, this isn't working! I can't do this! So I saved those 15K in another document and started fresh. Yup. I know it's not in the spirit of NaNoWriMo to disregard words, even bad words, but I just needed to start over. And then I found that I was actually able to salvage about 5K from what I had written, so I'm already back up to 10K. And this time, it's a good 10K.

How's your NaNo book coming along? Have you had that moment yet where you felt like trashing everything?

Oh, and my author friend KB Alan has a new book out, which, while I haven't read it yet, if it's anything like her other books is going to be really good. Check out the blurb below - and if you have an questions or comments for KB I'll be happy to pass them along to her!

Keeping Claire
by KB Alan

The blurb:

Claire's been fantasizing about the owner of her company since she first saw him. Ryan is gorgeous, confident and sexy as hell. In other words, so not her type. With the crazy life she leads, it's best to stick to men who are happy to do what she tells them to, then disappear. Since Ryan would never abide by those terms, it's best to keep him right where she's got him-in her dreams.

Ryan gets up close and personal with Claire while investigating a threat to his company. Once he's convinced she's not out to hurt what he's helped build, he refocuses his more-than-human energies on his intriguing employee. When she quits, insisting it's best if she leaves town, he's determined to convince her otherwise. At least long enough to get a taste of her. And the more he tastes, the more he touches, the more he wants. Now he just has to convince Claire that what they have is worth fighting for, and he's more than up to the task.

Available now at Ellora's Cave

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another sale (um, sort of!) and NaNoWriMo Day 4

Hello Fellow Writers!
A while back I got an offer from Whipped Cream, (who recently gave me a kick-ass review for my Ellora's Cave book Punishing the Art Thief) that if I wrote a short erotic story (1K words) to offer for free on their website, they would offer me an ad for two months.

I love a challenge - and creating something hot and "Sexily *Evers* After" in just 1000 words would be a challenge. But it was so much fun, and this morning I got an email saying they'd like to publish my story on their site on November 11th.

I'll be sure to link to it when it comes up! So that's my "sort of" sale :)

Today is Day 4 of NaNoWriMo! I'm at 11,000 words as of last night. I plan to add at least 3K today, and then tomorrow my father will watch DS for me all day so I can have uninterrupted writing time!

How's your Nano project coming along?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Author Kate Hill writes a LOT (and NaNoWrimo Day 1)

Hello Fellow Writers!

Yes, I'm excited. Just a little. As many of you know, my goal for this year's National Novel Writing Month is to write 80K instead of 50K. Am I setting myself up for failure? Who knows. And who knows how many of those 80K will actually be usable.

Part of me is thinking - don't waste *any* time! Get started! Why are you even blogging? Tweeting? Facebooking? Playing with your child?

Well, I still need to do all that stuff. And I'll miss DS if I ignore him for a whole month. So writing this novel in a month will have to happen like I write everything else - during bits of stolen time, and late at night.

 You know who knows a little something about writing a lot? Kate Hill. Her Ellora's Cave author page has like 40 books on it or something. Holy Moly. Fortunately for us, she stopped by The Writer's Challenge to chat.

Shoshanna: Hi Kate! How often and how much to do you write? Do you make a daily goal (pages, word count?)

Kate Hill: I write every day. How much depends on what my goals for the month are. Sometimes I have one story to finish, other times it's two. At other times I work on short stories and a novel at the same time, so the amount I write each day depends on my workload.

Shoshanna: What's the best way to cure writer's block?

Kate Hill: For me the best way to cure writer's block is to step away from the story I'm working on and write something different. If I write something just for pleasure, it relaxes me and I'm usually able to get back to the story I need to finish. Not that I don't enjoy working on all my stories, whether for fun or to sell, but writing a story for fun can be very liberating.

Shoshanna: Do you have an agent? Do you want one?

Kate Hill: I don't have an agent. A few times I tried to find one but none were interested. I can't say I tried diligently to get one because at this point I don't feel an agent is necessary for the markets I'm focused on.

Shoshanna: Do you have problems with e-book pirates? What should be done about that?

Kate Hill: I have a problem with theft in general, whether it's stealing ebooks, music or anything else. To me stealing online is no different than walking into a physical store and taking the merchandise.

I agree! Thanks for stopping by The Writer's Challenge, Kate!

To check out Kate Hill's latest Ellora's Cave release, Much More than Blood - click here.
To read an (adults only!) excerpt of Much More than Blood, click here.