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 cjpetterson@gmail.com cj

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Writes of passage


cj Sez: I found a path into my office closet last week to conduct a long over-due decluttering and found a 900-word flash fiction story called “The Family on Bushnell Creek” that could benefit from a bit of editing.

   As is my habit whatever I read, I began picking out a few things I would edit. Basically I liked the story line, and the nits I picked out were minor…things like two spaces after a period. Imagine my surprise when I realized the story was one I had written six or seven years ago.

  I think I’m going to clean up the manuscript, which will also add a few words, and file it away for inclusion in a future anthology. (The rest of the closet clean-up will have to wait.)

   My suggestion to you is to go back through your old manuscripts. Maybe you’ll find a gem or three you can resurrect.
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   From Owl Hollow Press . . . “We're incredibly delighted to announce THE EXISTENCE OF BEA PEARL, a YA Contemporary Southern Mystery by the amazing Candice Marley Conner Author, coming next fall (2020)! Its atmospheric swampy perfection w/ edge-of-your-seat mystery will make you swoon!”

 “Swampy perfection—I adore that. Y’all, I’m beside myself that THE EXISTENCE OF BEA PEARL will be out into the world! It’s my love letter to the swamps of my childhood and stories whispered around campfires crackling next to muddy rivers. Thank you, Owl Hollow Press for believing in Bea Pearl’s existence.”

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cj’s Public Service Announcements: 

   Daylight Saving Time ends at 1 a.m. local time on Sunday morning, November 3, 2019, in most areas of the U.S., so we'll “fall back” and return to Standard time. Ergo: If you’re living on DST, try to remember to set your timepieces back one hour on Saturday night.

   NANOWRIMO anyone? Time to prepare your writing place and allocate your times. 
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   Writing the right word . . .  (I can’t give proper attribution for the following because I don’t remember where I picked up these helpful tidbits, but it was probably on Facebook.)

   That or which? Do you have trouble deciding which to use? Here’s a rule:
If the sentence doesn’t need the clause that the word in question is connecting, use which. If it does, use that…for example:

   The Haunted Bookshop, which has one store, is located in downtown Mobile.
The Haunted Bookshop that has one store is located in downtown Mobile.

   A coffin and a casket? The difference is basically one of design. Coffins have six sides and are tapered at the head and foot and are wide at the shoulders (think of the rough, pine coffins you see in western movies). Caskets are rectangular in shape and are usually made of more expensive woods and trims.

cj’s helpful hints for Holiday Gift Giving List…

   If you, like me, get paid once a month, there are only two more paychecks until time for holiday gift giving. I always look for the bargain that offers more bang for my bucks, and that’s Anthologies! More than one story in a single tome, offering hours of enjoyment at one low price.

   In addition to getting wonderful stories, the best part about the two listed here is that part of the proceeds will go to benefit worthwhile charities. (P.S. I have a story in each anthology.)

 HOMETOWN HEROES (benefits the Cajun Navy) is available now. (A click on the cover will take you right to Amazon.)

 
FINALLY HOME is set to launch December 10 (benefits animal rescue groups).

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   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week?

cj



CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads, chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Free on Kindle Unlimited at the time of this post.  (Click on the name to go directly to Amazon.) Visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.
 
   TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop 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.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Is your favorite author among the Macavity award nominees?


cj Sez:  Nominations are in for the upcoming Macavity Awards. Is one of your favorite authors among them?

   Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate their favorite mysteries in five categories from the previous year for the Macavity Awards. The Macavity Awards are a literary award for mystery writers. Nominated and voted upon annually by the members of the Mystery Readers International, the award is named for the "mystery cat" of T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.  The winners of this coveted award will be announced at the end of October, 2019, at the Bouchercon convention in Dallas, Texas.
 
Best Novel:
Lou Berney: November Road
Alison Gaylin: If I Die Tonight
Jane Harper: The Lost Man
Jennifer Hillier: Jar of Hearts
Naomi Hirahara: Hiroshima Boy
Lisa Unger: Under My Skin
 
Best First Novel:
Oyinkan Braithwaite: My Sister, the Serial Killer
John Copenhaver: Dodging and Burning
Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing
Catherine Steadman: Something in the Water
C.J. Tudor: The Chalk Man
 
Best Nonfiction:
Laird R. Blackwell: The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction
Margalit Fox: Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer
Leslie S. Klinger: Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s
Michelle McNamara: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Laura Thompson: Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life
Sarah Weinman: The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World
 
Best Short Story: (Click on titles in blue for links to the stories)
Craig Faustus Buck: “Race to Judgment” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
Leslie Budewitz: “All God’s Sparrows” (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/Jun 2018)
Barb Goffman: “Bug App├ętit” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
Barry Lancet: “Three-Star Sushi” (Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol.1, No. 3)
Gigi Pandian: “The Cambodian Curse” (The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories)
Art Taylor: “English 398: Fiction Workshop” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2018)
 
Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:
Dianne Freeman: A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder
Elsa Hart: City of Ink
Laurie R. King: Island of the Mad
Sujata Massey: The Widows of Malabar Hill
Ann Parker: A Dying Note
Charles Todd: A Forgotten Place
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   Special congratulations to fellow Mobile Writers Guild member and author Candice Marley Conner. Her illustrated text chapter book, “Secretly Poppy, the Finder of Lost Things,” was awarded FIRST PLACE by the Southern Breeze chapter of SCBWI in their 2019 writing contest. Southern Breeze reported a record number of entries and tough competition for the winners.  (Yay, Candice!)
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   NaNoWriMo Helpful hint to avoid saggy middles:
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cj’s helpful hints for your Holiday Gift Giving List: 
   
FINALLY HOME Christmas anthology launch is December 10, 2019


   Also still available (you can never have too many feel-good Christmas stories anytime of the year): the  HOMETOWN HEROES Christmas anthology is free on Kindle Unlimited.

And you’ll be getting another two-fer!

   Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Cajun Navy, those hometown heroes who trailer their personal boats to hurricane flood-devastated areas to help those in need. And they do their incredible volunteerism on their own nickel. 

   By buying this book, you will help contribute to a wonderful cause and be able to read some lovely stories at the same time.


   Discover the role this fox plays in my story, “Hobbes House Noel,” one of the five romance stories in the Hometown Heroes anthology. (Well, actually not THIS fox. This photo was taken in my back yard.)

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   By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote (new or one you want to re-energize the marketing for), let me know. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week?

cj

CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

   TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop 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.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The importance of a copy editor


cj Sez:  I’m feeling pretty mellow right now. It’s Saturday night, and I just got home from the Allison Krause concert in Mobile. She has such a great voice.

   Okay on to the blog post: Did you ever open a book, read a few chapters (or even a few lines), and then put it down because of errata, i.e.; those typos and misspellings that drive a pedantic like me up a wall. One or two will make me pause and shake my head; gremlins happen. A lot of them will stop me in my tracks.

  Now, I’m finding errors in books by established authors and big publishing houses that, I thought, should do better. Perhaps it comes down to the time it takes to do a detailed copy edit vs. getting the book on the market. 
(Definition: Copy editing is the process of reviewing and correcting written material to improve accuracy, readability, and fitness for its purpose, and to ensure that it is free of error, omission, inconsistency, and repetition.)
   Speaking from experience, self-edits and beta readers do not, will not, and cannot catch everything that a professional copy editor will. When I was gainfully employed, one of my report/column-writing rules was to get as many people as possible to read the document . . . the more eyes on it the better the end product. That wasn’t easy to do as I was always on an eleven a.m. deadline every day, and my work wasn’t on the top of someone else’s to-do list. But the effort was so worth it.

   The same thing is true about an author’s manuscript. I, me, personally, want my manuscript to be the best I can make it. I read the document on the computer screen, and then I print a few pages. Because the text looks different when printed, I’ll usually find the missing comma, period, or quotation mark that was missed on numerous computer-screen read-throughs. Sometimes, I make a copy of the printed page. Copying changes the size of the font once again, yet I will too often find another gremlin to correct.

   My advice to indie-published authors: Don’t presume that because you’ve typed “The End,” your manuscript is finished. It’s probably months away from being ready for publication. It needs fresh eyes. It’s a personal and financial consideration for each author, but please consider hiring a copy editor if you can afford it. 


   Caveat: Expect that if your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, their punctuation rules for how they want their publication to look may differ from your copy editor’s input, and there could be (probably will be) more changes to be made

   By the by, as the masthead of Lyrical Pens says, if you have a book you want to promote (new or one you want to refresh), let me know. We can arrange a blog date…the only caveat is that this site is PG 13.

   That’s it for this week’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. See you next week?

cj
CHOOSING CARTER and DEADLY STAR are quick reads chock full of adventure with a touch of sassy banter and sweet romance. Get your Kindle copy on Amazon…visit my Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj for more information about my stories.

   TO ORDER an autographed copy of CHOOSING CARTER, DEADLY STAR, HOMETOWN HEROES, and/or THE POSSE, contact The Haunted Bookshop 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.

Visit me on Facebook at:   cjpetterson/author on Facebook