Thursday, December 13, 2012

Make Your Characters Do the Dance


by Flame Arden





Is it possible to write a good erotic novel and not have the couple jump between the sheets by page three?

Yes. My favorite erotic novels all have plots and have found a home on my keeper shelf. That's because the author took the time to let the reader start pulling for the hero and heroine before those characters hopped into bed.

It's just as ill advised to go to bed with a stranger in fiction as it is in real life. IMUO, letting the characters jumping into bed too soon in unrealistic. 

So why don't more erotic novels have a plot? Authors mistakenly think this is what readers want.

Hey! I'm a reader, and that definitely is not what I want.

I want to cheer for the hero and heroine when they finally turn back the covers and make love. The will-she, won't he dance a couple does -- the anticipation of them finally coming together in a heated embrace -- is as much a part of the story as their first love scene and every step of that dance needs to be on the page.

If you don't believe me, read the first few chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I love the preliminary dance they do on those early pages. He's immediately attracted to her, but knows better than to jump her bones. She's an innocent and all the more desirable to him because she is. Whenever I need inspiration, I reread those first few chapters. 

Think about this: Even the best hitters in major league baseball seldom make it to third base without first striking at a high, fast ball and maybe even fouling a few. Neither should your characters. Why not add to the reader's pleasure by stringing the couple and the reader along?

Instant attraction? Yes! 

Instant gratification? No! Make the hero wait. Make the heroine squirm. Your readers will, too, just as you did while writing their story.

In Christmas Eve Eve Adohr asks to use a stranger's phone, then is attracted to the handsome homeowner. Wouldn't be wise to act on her attraction, she knows, but her lonely heart sends another message, one she finds hard to ignore. It's not until after drinks, dinner, quiet music and a romantic slow dance that she acts on her attraction, thinking No one will ever know about her one-night stand.

Unbelievably, her one night stand continues for three days, and Eve learns she's capable of giving at least as much sensual pleasure as she gains. 

Here's a blurb:

In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he's expecting to heat up his holiday. 

Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick's female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.

Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.

And an excerpt:

Finally. Nick St. Clair took one last look around. Everything seemed in order. Don't let your irritation at your hired date's tardiness show. She might have a reasonable excuse for being late. 

Straightening the lapels of his hip-length robe, he crossed to the door. Beneath the robe, black silk pajama pants provided minimal warmth but kept him decent.

"I'm sorry to disturb you," the statuesque woman on his porch said with a bright smile, "but I've done something really stupid and wondered if you—"

"Don't just stand there." Nick opened the door wider, anxious to see what his credit card had purchased this time. "Come in."

"Thanks." After a slight hesitation, the woman stepped gracefully inside. Ice crystals clung to the fine wool scarf wrapped loosely around her neck, and to her stylish boots. She was all bundled up in a long coat, but Nick's mind's eye had no difficulty sketching what he hoped was hidden underneath. 

The lady wore far too many clothes.

"I'm afraid my boots are wet." She glanced first at him. His welcoming smile seemed to stun her. She stared at her boots. "Where would you like me to stand?"

"By the fire." Nick indicated the hearth. "You look frozen." Although in need of a woman, he had no desire to bed an icicle. He wasn't that desperate. Yet.

She crossed the room at a slow pace, her fluid movements an aphrodisiac to him, although each tentative step left behind a patch of melting ice. Sex-deprived man that he was, his living room suddenly felt too warm. Things were looking up.

"I've been busy on the computer," he said, surprised by the sudden gruffness of his usually smooth voice. He joined her before the fire. "I hadn't noticed it had begun to snow."

A soft-looking, hooded leather coat covered her to her ankles. What lay beneath all those layers?

To his surprise, the unknown whetted his appetite. "Here, let me help you out of that coat." 

"No."

No? Her response drew Nick up short.

"That won't be necessary," she said, her sexy eyes wide. "I'll just keep it on, since I'm hoping we'll be going right back out."

Out? Was this some sort of sex game played to excite him?

"Problem is..." She paused, smiling up at him, even daring to bat her eyes. 

Unusual eyes, those. Emeralds, flecked with gold, and about all Nick could see of his date at the moment. He found the situation so damned erotic he began to sweat. 

"... my car slid in the ditch next door," she added, drawing his thoughts from what treasures her long coat might hide. "I wouldn't bother you, but this mountain seems to be out of my cell phone's service area and I wondered if I might use your phone to call for a tow."

The dimple nestled in the satiny cheek nearest Nick flirted with him as she spoke. Intriguing. Might as well play along. "Sure."

About Flame Arden:


Flame Arden sounds like a well-bred Southern lady. Nothing could be further from the truth. She claims to write sex scenes with 'squirm factor'. You be the judge as she opens the boudoir door to one-man, one-woman erotic relationships and gives you a glimpse inside. A happy and lasting marriage has prepared Flame to write sizzling love scenes, and she doesn't disappoint.
  



She hangs out here:


http://flamearden.wordpress.com/ 
http://www.flamearden.com/index.html
http://www.flamearden.com/page4.html
http://twitter.com/FlameArden



December 14th you can download Christmas Eve here:

http://www.evernightpublishing.com/flame-arden/ 

Or from your favorite eBook store




Friday, November 16, 2012

S. L. Danielson and Nephylim's Steamy Young Adult Romantic Novel-- Upstaged: Opening Act



S. L. (Stephanie) Danielson is an author of m/m romantic fiction. Her newest work is Upstaged: Opening Act which will be coming November 16th. My co-author is Nephylim, a splendid storyteller in how own right.






What is the name of your latest book? 

Upstaged: Opening Act.  

And how did you come up with the title? 

I thought of it. It is about a band, and the main couple is always fighting and trying to outdo the other; it fit perfectly.

What is this book about? 

Generally about a group of friends in a band together, and also about a couple of couples (two main ones). Mostly is it about Erik and Asher, who are world apart, but find a way to make beautiful music together.

And what genre is this book in? 

It is young adult gay romantic fiction. Any erotic scenes fade when it gets too hot.

Who is/are the main characters? 

The main people are Erik Von Nordgren and Asher Berkley. 

And why did you choose them? 

I chose Erik because he’s like a lot of the bad boys I write; but wanted to do a musical guy. Asher Nephy chose because he is gothic and an emo, very much her style.

What is the coolest or best part about your book?  (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc…)

I’d say the best part about this book is the buildup of this relationship. It’s on and off a lot, and we also see a lot of interaction with their friends too (Billy and Vince notably).

Do you have a favorite character in the book?  If so, why? 

Beyond my Erik, I’d say it’s a tie between Billy and Vince… but Billy will capture my heart, always. He’s wise, funny, cute, and the best friend anyone could ask for. He’s been through a lot, but would give you the shirt off his back. So would Vince, for that matter. I love them both.

Is this book part of a series? If so, what can we expect in future books? 

Yes, it is part of a series, and you can expect loads and loads of both drama and new characters introduced in each book (at least one each). We are on book #9 right now and we look back to see how far they’ve grown and changed and are amazed!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a thing. We love it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

I learned that Nephy and I write incredibly fast for one, and that we have a wonderful rapport with each other. We rarely argued about anything, except time or we were too tired to continue that night (lol)! But the best thing is that we had no holds barred. If we had an idea, we just did it, and even traded characters at times just to fill in what we felt they should say or do. It was truly glorious! We’d go off on tangents and whims and just did as our hearts desired.

Do you have a publisher?  And if so, why did you choose them?  

No, we are doing this independently by choice.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

William Maltese.

What books are you reading now? 

None at the moment, as my pleasure reading has ground to a temporary halt.

What are the current writing projects that you are working on? 

Beyond Upstaged, we are (Nephy and I) are working on another book about the dark fae, and plan to make that a series as well. We are also independently entered in the November Novel in a month contest. She has hers outlined, I have an idea, but have yet to start.

Do you write full time?  If not, do you hope to do so one day? 

No, though on the weekends is it over 8 hours/day.  I would love to, but have many hobbies I wish to pursue as well, so maybe not full time just yet.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As soon as I could write I was writing stories and drawing as young as 5. I’ve always been writing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Sometimes the title eludes me or how to end it.

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?

First, make sure your story follows a decent outline, and that you have ways to fill in the gaps or cut back if too wordy…but never give up on your story. I’ve had to rewrite books multiple times to get them how I want them.

Thanks Steph for Dropping By!

You can find out more about her work at: 

http://ladyauthorsld.blogspot.com/?zx=bc370098161c1fc

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An Exciting Time Travel Romance "Rising Above" by Toni Noel


Rising Above







When modern-day tomboy Wilda Stone is blown back through time to 1874, her hot air balloon crashes above the Owens Valley. Stoic undercover agent Hal Grantham comes to her rescue, promising to take her to the silver mining town of Cerro Gordo. A severe sand storm keeps him from keeping his promise and forces them to seek shelter overnight in a cave, compromising her reputation and forcing Hal into a marriage of convenience.

Wilda is a misfit in Cerro Gordo, too, where their turbulent marriage is filled with adventures, adjustments, and above all else, loving. Then a diphtheria epidemic sweeps through the silver mining town. This same disease felled Hal's first wife and child, so to guarantee Wilda a long life Hal secretly repairs her balloon, and then sends her back to her own time, shattering Wilda's heart. Is her love for her terse husband strong enough to bring this headstrong Caltrans flagperson safely back to Hal's time?



An Excerpt


While the borrowed garments hugged her body with unexpected softness, her reflected image in a long skirt stunned Wilda. She cared little for dresses, and had never worn long skirts. Even as a child, she'd avoided dress-up events. Give her a pair of well-worn jeans and broken-in boots and she was content.

How would she manage those crooked stairs without breaking her neck?
She tried to emulate the way she'd seen Dottie lift her skirt and glide up the stairs, but Wilda's awkward movements only served to hamper her instead. She would trip herself for sure, but she wouldn't need these skirts for long.

Once she found a way to leave...

How could she be certain she could find her way back to her home? Back to her own time?
If only the wind hadn't...

One moment the air was still. The next, she was rushing toward the forbidden magnetic field, the wind at her back and the flame of her furnace extinguished, her balloon out of control.
She had the unpredictable wind to blame for bringing her to Cerro Gordo, although at some future time she wouldn't mind at all visiting here, given the opportunity to choose the time.
The year 2012 would do just fine.

What year is this? And how do I go about leaving here and returning home? The room was growing dark. Wilda ran her hand along the wallpaper beside the door in hopes of finding a light switch.

She tried the other wall. Nothing.

At last she noticed the matches and oil lamp on the table, the lamp so like the treasured antique one her grandmother had prominently displayed. She'd overlooked it. Wilda lit the lamp, adjusted the wick, and admired her reflection in the clear glass globe.

The soft glow from the lamp subdued the color of her auburn hair. Highlights flickered in unexpected places. For once her generous proportions pleased her, softened to acceptable curves by the welcome circle of light. Her cheeks glowed with excitement -- or windburn -- but her stomach growled from hunger.

Someone tapped on her door. She took a hesitant step toward it. "Yes?"

"Miss Stone? Are you presentable? It's Dottie. May I come in?"

Wilda turned the key in the lock, slid the bolt, and finally opened the door. Dottie stepped in. Hal followed, quickly shoving the door closed.

"My, my, aren't you the pretty one," Dottie said, giving her a tentative smile, but Wilda hadn't missed the worried look her visitors exchanged. "Are you ready for dinner?"

"Oh, yes. I'm quite--"

"Look, Wilda," Hal said, impatiently interrupting her. "There's not much time to explain because we're late for supper. Just remember, whatever happens downstairs, follow my lead. Understand?"

What did he anticipate happening? They were only going to eat a meal. She gave him a puzzled nod.

"Good. You'll be eating at the table with Dottie and me." As if by habit, he touched the gun strapped to his hip. "I guess we're ready, then."

Wilda's heart gave an anxious flutter, but anticipation far outweighed any worry she entertained as she and Dottie trooped out into the hall. Hal followed. Ace fell in step behind when Hal moved out in front. At the head of the stairs they paused.

From below came the rumble of rowdy voices. Wilda's pulse quickened. To her surprise, she had no difficulty descending the stairs.

Dottie reached the main floor and ducked into a small room furnished as a parlor. The others followed, and all but Wilda engaged in a whispered conference. While waiting for them to finish, she noticed an Inyo County newspaper and a copy of Peterson's Magazine on the lamp table nearby.

Casually, Wilda unfolded and lifted the paper. The headline read "Lone Pine, California Rebuilds Following Disastrous Quake." Dated October 1, 1874, the lead article detailed the devastation that had occurred on March 26, 1872, when an earthquake shook residents of the quiet valley from their beds.

Is this October of 1874?

The corners of the newspaper were dog-eared from frequent handling, but the printed pages showed no sign of age. Wilda estimated the paper couldn't be more than a week old.
A hard knot formed in her stomach. Now she knew the year, she could no longer deny her worrisome suspicions.

Somehow, she had stepped back in time. Her pulse throbbed.

What else had happened in 1874?

The chase for gold in California had slowed to a crawl then and the Civil War had ended.
What else? Was California a state yet?

With all her heart she wished she'd paid more attention to her history lessons.
Why did it matter? Women weren't yet allowed to vote, she was sure.

Without giving Wilda sufficient time to absorb the reality of her predicament, Dottie turned toward the jumble of voices and entered a large paneled room. Wilda had no choice but to drop the newspaper and follow.

Oil fueled glass chandeliers hung from the ceiling. White oilcloth covered the tables arranged in three long rows. She remembered the shiny surface from her childhood. As Wilda entered, a hush fell over the room. A dozen miners sat at each table, their eyes all turned on her. Forks halted in mid-air. Although she followed close behind Dottie, Wilda's skirt caught on a chair leg, tripping her.

Her cheeks heated. Clumsy goose.  Hal, who had somehow wound up behind her, reached to steady her by placing his hand on her upper arm. Her cheeks burned hotter still. Careful now of every step, she watched the placement of her feet with lowered gaze.

From the corner of her eye she saw Hal stop long enough to hang his Stetson on a peg by the door. For some unexplained reason, she took comfort in the sound of his steps behind her.
Dottie led the way to an empty table, showed Wilda where to sit, and headed for the kitchen without waiting for her friends to take their seats.

Hal held Wilda's chair, bending to whisper in her ear, "Dottie's seeing to the food."
He took the place on her right and gave the occupants of the room an intimidating look. Wilda frowned.

Ace sat at the end of the table, surveying the room, his eyes never still, his shoulders tense, waiting, as if he expected something to happen.

What?

Wilda couldn't comprehend the need for a bodyguard, or for the whispered words and knowing looks she'd so far observed but, following Hal's instructions, kept her questions to herself.

Dottie and Chang Li placed white pottery bowls heaped with stew before the newcomers, and then Dottie sank into the vacant chair across from Wilda. The other diners didn't resume talking until Dottie began to eat.

Chang Li placed a cup of steaming coffee before Wilda. Delighted, she sipped the strong brew. In an effort to appease her raging hunger and to give her hands a task, she tackled her stew, a meaty concoction well seasoned with pepper and tasting of wild onions.
She finished it off quickly, along with the dark, yeasty bread.

"The lady has a healthy appetite," Dottie commented.
Wilda glanced around the table. Her bowl was the only empty one. Her cheeks took on new fire. Intense hunger had caused her to forget her manners.

"Everything is so delicious," she said lamely.
Hal and Dottie laughed at her flustered explanation, attracting attention of the miners seated nearby. The men stared at her with interest. One man's openly lascivious grin made Wilda's flesh crawl. She quickly looked away from him, right into Hal's unreadable gaze. After a moment in which her heart thumped wildly, he turned back to his stew.

Looking beyond the heads turned her direction, Wilda saw the evening sky through windows draped with forest green tapestry over sheer curtains of lace. A wide opening to the kitchen revealed the cook stirring a steaming pot on the massive black cooking stove.

The men began leaving the tables, slapping each other on the back, and politely tipping their hats to Wilda. She smiled at the courtesy.

Uh-oh. My mistake.

A toothless man whose shaggy growth of beard partially hid a wide grin separated himself from the group and headed for their table. Hal and Ace both came to attention.

"Evenin' Miss," the miner said, and preened. "Josh Buckston, at your service."
Hal narrowed his eyes at Wilda. She ducked her head, but tuned her ears to listen.

"Looks like the lady's finished with her food," Josh said, apparently for Hal's benefit. "Would you care to step out on the porch with me for a nice breath of fresh air?"
Wilda glanced up before she heard Hal gritting his teeth. "The lady's taken, Buckston," he warned.

"Can't blame a man for trying," Josh said, backing away.
He joined his friends waiting for him near the door. The men leaned in close to hear what he had to say, then stared back over their shoulders at Hal, who raked the cluster of men with a heated look.

Once the group had sauntered out, Hal turned to her, a small smile softening his features. 

"I'm sorry, Miss Stone," he said. "These men don't often have the occasion to see a pretty woman. I forgot how forward they tend to act at times."

Hal possessed way more gall than Josh Buckston. She was quite capable of speaking for herself. He might at least have given her the opportunity to turn aside the miner's attention, but no. He'd warned her not to speak to the men.

Well, she wouldn't allow Hal's presumptuous rules to run her life. While no one previously crossing her path had showed any interest in taking her out, the miner who'd approached their table didn't hold any appeal to Wilda. She let her gaze travel about the room, much aware of everyone observing her every move from across the dining hall. She didn't see one she'd care to sit with. Certainly none she'd choose to walk with along a dark road.
Besides, not a man in the room held a candle to Hal. She glanced at him, now deeply involved in whispered conversation with Dottie.

He grimaced and a tiny frown marred the smoothness of his forehead. Somewhere, he'd taken the time to shave and slick his dark hair. It skimmed the collar of his newly laundered black shirt. She was aware of the shirt's aroma, lye soap and the scent of what she supposed was bay rum.

Hal glanced up and caught her smiling. His frown deepened into an aggravated scowl. He shook his head at something Dottie said, but continued to stare at Wilda, trying to communicate some unspoken message she failed to interpret.

Perhaps he'd guessed her thoughts. At the strong possibility, Wilda looked away, flushing, but his words replayed in her mind, and the way he'd looked at her when he referred to her as a pretty woman.

Another group of diners entered and Chang Li soundlessly scurried about, clearing tables and arranging clean place settings of tin utensils.

One of the new arrivals failed to take a seat, choosing instead to head directly toward the table where Wilda and her companions sat. A determined gleam flashed from his eyes, a cocky self-assurance his unwashed face and hands proved unjustified.
At the last minute, he dragged his hat from his head and came to a halt opposite her. He hesitated and squashed his hat against his chest. 

"Miss, you've done run off with my heart. Marry up with me?"

The miner's flowery speech triggered a grin Willa thought best she swallow. Beside her, Hal stiffened then cleared his throat. Fists clenched, his body half out of the chair, Hal announced to the entire room, "Miss Stone is promised to me."


Want More?? 

Try her link!
 www.ToniNoelAuthor.com



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The New Death and Others by James Hutchings




James Hutchings is an author of fantasy. His newest work, The New Death and others is available from Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. 


What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

I actually found the image that I wanted to use on the cover first (it's by Jose Posada). It fit best with my story 'The New Death', so I made that the title story.

What is this book about?  And what genre is this book in?

It's a collection of stories and poems, 63 pieces in all. It's only a bit over 41,000 words in total, so most of them are quite short. Most of the stories are fantasy, but there's some 'general fiction' in there as well. The style ranges from funny to very grim. I'm much more influenced by older writers like Tolkien and Robert E Howard. In fact I've never read any of the Harry Potter, Twilight or Game of Thrones series, or most other popular modern fantasy authors.

Who is/are the main characters?  And why did you choose them?

There aren't many characters that recur from one piece to the next, except for the gods Death, Commerce and Fame. They're inspired by the short stories of Lord Dunsany, particularly his collection Fifty-One Tales.

Although they don't have any characters in common, several stories are set in my fantasy city of Telelee. It's partly based on Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, partly on Terry Pratchett's Ankh-Morpork, and partly on Port Blacksand in the Fighting Fantasy series.

What is the coolest or best part about your book?  (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc..

Overall, people's favourites seem to be the story 'The God of the Poor', and the poem 'If My Life Was Filmed'.

Do you have a favorite character in the book?  If so, why?

Apart from the gods mentioned above, my favourite is probably LP Hatecraft from 'The Adventure of the Murdered Philanthropist'. The story is a parody of Sherlock Holmes, and LP Hatecraft is a parody of the writer HP Lovecraft. He's pretty much a one-note comedy character, so I wouldn't put him in other stories, but I think he works well in his brief appearance.

Is this book part of a series?  If so? What can we expect in future books?

The book as a whole isn't, but I'd like to do more with some of the stories. In particular, I'm looking at a novel set in Telelee.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I don't think I'd change anything (apart from a few minor typos, which I've corrected as I found them), but there are things I intend to do differently in the future.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I've learned a lot about what people want. In particular, I thought that having a collection of lots of stories with a wide variety of tones and themes would be a positive thing. Some people said that, but more people said that they'd have preferred more consistency. So in the future, if I put out a collection, it will probably be based around some kind of theme rather than just being 'my best writing from the last year'.

I've also learned a lot about what works in terms of self-promotion (or, at least, what's worked for me).

Do you have a publisher?  And if so, why did you choose them?  

I've never tried to be traditionally published. 

Firstly I didn't want to waste paper by being traditionally printed. There are publishers who only publish electronically, but I was skeptical about what they'd do for me that I couldn't do for myself.

Secondly it seems like traditional publishers expect most of their authors to do their own promotion anyway, so what are they giving in return? Also, of course, it's very difficult to get a contract, and bloggers like JA Konrath argue that it's going to get more and more difficult, because publishers will respond to loss of income by cuting their 'mid-list', or paying them less, to concentrate on a few authors who can make them a lot of money.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

What books are you reading now?

The last story I read was The Cats of Ulthar by HP Lovecraft. I'm currently doing a poem based on the story.

What are the current writing projects that you are working on?

The main project I'm working on right now is a poem set in the old West, called Confession of a Bounty Hunter.

I'm in the first stages of writing a novel set in the city of Telelee.

I'm considering doing a collection of poems and stories about cats, and I've been writing some shorter poems towards that.

I'm also writing a serial for the new website JukePop Serials. It's similar to the comic and movie Watchmen, in that it's a detective story but the detectives are superheroes.

Do you write full time?  If not, do you hope to do so one day?

I'm currently at university, doing a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing. But I hope to write full time in the future.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Not really. I've been writing stories at least since I started school.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I mostly write fantasy, and I tend to write short stories with one-off characters. Unfortunately fantasy fans tend to want long novels, in long series. So what I write tends to be the opposite of what's commercial. I don't know whether I'll be able to adjust my writing to fit the market, or whether I'll have to move away from fantasy, or if I can get a fanbase despite this disadvantage.

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?

Nowadays anyone can self-publish. If you can make a Word document, you can have an ebook on Smashwords or Amazon. However that means that if your work is no good, no one's going to stop you. I'd recommend that people get onto Critique Circle (www.critiquecircle.com) and/or Scribophile (www.scribophile.com), put their work up, and listen to what people tell you. Don't 'defend' your work against people's 'attacks'. They aren't attacks, they're helping you. I've found that the people who defend their work have a strong tendency to have the worst writing, I suppose because they're not making the changes they need to make.

My next point doesn't matter if you're going to self-publish, but it is important if you want to be published by a regular publisher, or if you want to submit stories to magazines. Most places won't publish work that's already been published. And most places count putting a story on the internet as publishing it. In my opinion that's silly, but that's what they do. Scribophile and Critique Circle are exceptions, because google doesn't index them and you can't see any stories without logging on. However there are writing group websites out there where, if you put a story on the site, that counts as the story being published. That seems like a really terrible way to set things up, but they're out there.

I'd also say that getting a book out isn't the final step. It's just the start of the work of self-promotion. This is true even if you're not self-publishing: I'm told that authors are expected to pretty much arrange their own book signings and so on (if you just want to have a book out to show family and friends then this doesn't matter, of course).

There are a lot of sharks out there, who make their money from authors and not from readers. They will make all sorts of promises about how they're going to promote you and help you, but these are lies. Authors do not pay publishers, ever, and if they're asking you to pay then it's a scam. Of course if you're self-publishing you might end up paying someone to design a cover for you, or you might pay for internet advertising, but those are different things. You might also pay a printer to print your books if you want to get physical books rather than ebooks - but in this age of the kindle and print-on-demand I don't know why you'd want to. Preditors and Editors (www.pred-ed.com) is a good website to look at, and you can get good advice at the forums of Critique Circle. The best-known reputable and free self-publishing venues are Amazon Kindle Direct, Smashwords.com, and for physical books Lulu.com.

Finally, I'd suggest learning to touch-type if you can't already. You're going to be doing a lot of typing, and every hour you spend getting faster at typing will save you ten in the long run.

Thanks James so much for stopping by.

Btw here's a quick blurb of his really cool book "The New Death and Others"

Death gets a roommate.. 

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No sparkly vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?


Here's the buy link: http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Death-others-ebook/dp/B005Q8Q8DY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343078577&sr=8-1&keywords=the+new+death+and+others+by+James+Hutchings

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