Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Doesn't have to cost a dime to encourage an author

cj Sez: Over the past week, I decided it was crunch time…I absolutely had to quit procrastinating and finish, this week, a short story with a June 30 submission deadline.  

  I need to finish the story early, like “now,” so I'll have time to do the necessary edits. Anyway, all of that was to explain why this post is going to be a short reissue of one previously posted in 2017. By the way, the call for submissions is still open, so if you're of a mind to ....

   What follows is a stream of consciousness blog about how to show your support for writers (at a little or no cost), whether you’re a writer or a reader.

If you’re a writer and have your own blog, invite guest bloggers. Lyrical Pens does do that, though we haven’t been graced with a guest for a few weeks. (Read the invitation in the Lyrical Pens banner above.) When you have a guest scheduled on your blog, send out “Coming Attractions” promotions on other social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, et al. Be sure to give your guest blogger space to say something about their books.

Read and be willing to give the author’s work a fair review. Be kind but be honest.

If you know an author who just wants to just sit and talk, grab a chair and listen. Writing is a lonely occupation, and most other people don't understand.

Encourage each other. Writing is not a competition; everyone can be successful.

And here’s a little marketing tip: If you’re a yet-to-be-published writer and don’t have a business card, get one. Hand it out to agents, workshop instructors, fellow writers, wherever you have an opportunity to network. Get your name out there as early as possible (blogs and Facebook, too) so they can watch for your new release. Some variation of the one that follows is my suggestion:

Name  Jane Doe, Author
Writer of XXX (literary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, YA, romance, whatever)
eMail address
website address

Now, if you’re a reader (and since writers are also readers, I guess this applies to everyone) . . .
Like and comment on authors' posts on their Facebook pages. Facebook's algorithms only show posts that FB thinks other members would like to see. That means the more likes and comments a post gets, the more people will see it. 

Go to book signings, even if you can’t afford to buy the book at that time. Your attendance is ever so encouraging. I’ve been to book signings where the author and I were the only two people there. On the other hand, I was one of several authors at a local indie book store signing and because fans and friends showed up, the afternoon sped by and was fun—even though I didn’t sell a book.

   If you’ve got some good ideas on how best to encourage authors to keep writing, let me know. I’ll pass along the information and credit you as the source.
   That’s it for this post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Stop by my Amazon Central Author Page = and order a book to read or get in touch with The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop to order an autographed copy of DEADLY STAR, CHOOSING CARTER, and THE POSSE. Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.

If you send me a note with a request before you order, I’ll even run down to the shop and personalize your choice.

Drop me a note to sign up for my quarterly newsletter: 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Winners all. . .

cj Sez:  The Agatha Awards for 2018 books were announced at the Malice Domestic conference on May 4.  

   The Agatha Awards recognize the "traditional mystery," meaning that there is no graphic sex and no excessive violence in the writing. Thrillers or hard-boiled detectives cannot be found here, but instead, picture Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot at work.
   And the winners are .  .  . (indicated by asterisks) 

Best Contemporary Novel
“Mardi Gras Murder” by Ellen Byron **
“Beyond the Truth” by Bruce Robert Coffin
“Cry Wolf” by Annette Dashofy
“Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny
“Trust Me” by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best Historical Novel
“Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding” by Rhys Bowen
“The Gold Pawn” by LA Chandlar
“The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey **
“Turning the Tide” by Edith Maxwell
“Murder on Union Square” by Victoria Thompson

Best First Novel (Tied for the win)
“A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder” by Dianne Freeman **
“Little Comfort” by Edwin Hill
“What Doesn't Kill You” by Aimee Hix
“Deadly Solution” by Keenan Powell
“Curses Boiled Again” by Shari Randall **

Best Short Story (Tied for the win)
"All God's Sparrows" by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine) **
"A Postcard for the Dead" by Susanna Calkins (in Florida Happens)
"Bug Appetit" by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
"The Case of the Vanishing Professor" by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine) **
"English 398: Fiction Workshop" by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Best Young Adult Mystery
“Potion Problems” by Cindy Callaghan **
“Winterhouse” by Ben Guterson
“A Side of Sabotage” by C.M. Surrisi

Best Nonfiction
“Mastering Plot Twists” by Jane Cleland **
“Writing the Cozy Mystery” by Nancy J Cohen
“Conan Doyle for the Defense” by Margalit Fox
“Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life” by Laura Thompson
“Wicked Women of Ohio” by Jane Ann Turzillo

   Congratulations to nominees and winners alike, and special kudos to my fellow Sisters-in-Crime members on the list. 

   When we lived many miles apart, I sent each of my sons flowers on Mother’s Day, because they have always been a source of pride. Besides, I wouldn’t be a mother without them. (I also got a kick out of them having to explain the roses delivered to their places of work.) And they would send me yellow roses. They could have given me a dandelion stem as they did when they were little, and I could not have felt more loved.

   I can’t end this post without remembering my Mom, as I do most every day. I’m grateful that she was the sweet soul who soothed my fears, dried my tears, and patted my rear when I needed it. Thank you, Mom, for your unconditional love. 

Yes, Lord, please hold her for while. She is forever in my heart.
That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

Little note: Print copies of Choosing Carter and Deadly Star are becoming scarce as Simon&Schuster winds down their support of the Crimson Romance imprint. You can, however, support an indie book store and order an autographed copy of my books here: The Haunted Bookshop  Angela Trigg, the awesome owner and a RITA Award-winning author in her own right (writing as Angela Quarles) will be happy to ship you the book(s) of your choice.
Drop me a note to sign up for my quarterly newsletter: