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, September 13, 2020

A Character Interview and a Giveaway!

cj Sez: The Mobile Writers Guild has two anthology publications being released in 2020. The first anthology of 2020 is VALENTINE PIECES, which launched in February. The second, launching October 9, is HALLOWEEN PIECES.

   My paranormal short story, “Once in a Blue Moon,” is included in the Halloween publication, and my short mystery, “Call Me Kate,” is included in the Valentine’s publication.  

   And I’m having a giveaway contest that runs from Sept 13 to Sept 19. I’ll announce the winner on Sept 20. Inserted somewhere in this blog post are instructions on how you can be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of HALLOWEEN PIECES—Kindle or paperback, your choice—and some goodies in exchange for …well read on to find the how-to. Easy-peasy.

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Character interview:

   An interview with Mirabel Campbell, the protagonist in a novel that I’m editing for re-release under a new title, THE DAWGSTAR.

  Lyrical Pens: Dear readers: Today I’m interviewing Dr. Mirabel Campbell, the protagonist in one of cj petterson’s novels. Dr. Campbell, if you don’t mind, let’s get right into this short interview. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? Do you have any hobbies?

Mirabel Campbell, PhD.:  Call me Mirabel, please. I’m a botanist, and I’ve just finished working on the international genome project. Before you ask, I was studying the genomes of plants, not people. Actually finishing the project gave me the time to follow my new favorite hobby, astronomy. The skies around Mendocito, California, where I live are super dark and perfect for star-gazing.

 LP: So, you traded a microscope for a telescope. 

 MC: When you say it that way, my life sounds pretty boring, and a year ago, I would’ve agreed. Neither activity by itself is what one might call exciting, but let me tell you, the two of them together? You know how people say, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you?” Wrong. I found out what I didn’t know could kill me.

 LP:  Oh wow. What happened?

 MC: One night I was out with my brand-new telescope and spotted what I thought could be a new comet. I even had some grandiose plans to name it the Briggs-Campbell Comet. My friend Ray Briggs was with me that night. A few days later, I discovered I hadn’t found a new comet, and what I had seen might be the death of me. I became entangled in an international crisis and the target of a hired assassin. Obviously I survived. but two of my friends didn’t. That’s all I can tell you because of national security issues. The things that can be made public will be revealed in a tell-all book that cj petterson is working on. She’s calling it THE DAWGSTAR, and it’s a suspenseful thriller with a touch of romance.

   And to apologize for not being able to tell you more, we have a giveaway for your readers. If they’ll go to cj petterson’s Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor), like and share this blog post, and give her the name of the person they shared it with, she’ll enter both of their names in a drawing to win a copy of her newest short story, “Once in a Blue Moon” in the Mobile Writers Guild anthology, HALLOWEEN PIECES. All she’s asking is that the winner take a few minutes to leave an honest review on Amazon. Easy-peasy.

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  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same, (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)  

cj

 FYI gentle reader: Part of the proceeds from the sales of HOMETOWN HEROES benefits The Cajun Navy…you remember those hometown heroes who, right now, have trailered their boats to Lake Charles, LA, to help the victims of Hurricane Laura. The anthology theme might be Christmas, but the stories are timeless.

   TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has re-opened to limited hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

 

➜ Follow me . . .             

  on Amazon:  Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj

  on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor

  on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson

  on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, September 6, 2020

The Year in flux

 cj Sez:  Here I am, headed into the beginning of fall (the autumn equinox occurs Sept. 22) and the end of Daylight Saving Time (if you’re on it, it ends Nov. 1), without the benefit of having celebrated the usual annual milestones up to this date.

   Where did they go? I’m talking about the beginning of spring, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day. All were under quarantine. Now as I skid toward the end of 2020 (a year with the world-wide mantra of “stay home"), also in jeopardy of not being experienced, in a familiar way, are Labor Day, pro sports playoffs, Halloween, Thanksgiving, maybe even Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Granted I feel a little lost and put-upon, but not panicked. Creating new traditions is good, and I’m still writing, so that’s good. How about you? You doing okay? 

cj Sez: Old adage: Truth is stranger than fiction. Why? Because truth is harder to write and make it believable. As a writer, fiction is my choice because I can lie and be applauded for it. Now if I could only remember which lie I told.

New releases from a couple of friends of mine and available now . . .

A WHISPER OF TROUBLE, book 12 of the Trouble Cat Mysteries by Susan Y. Tanner  (Author), releases September 7, Kindle Edition

   "Acclaimed horse whisperer Liz O’Neil heals confused, frightened, or angry horses but she never expected to work in Italy.

   Her skills are vital to help the horses, especially when bullets start flying."

                       ///
HOSTILE CHARMS, book 5 of the Possession Chronicles by Carrie Dalby releases September 8 and the publisher is having a digital book sale . . .

Seeing his ex-wife, Lucy Melling, happily remarried, Frederick Davenport longs to move on from his failed first love. 


   In celebration of the release of “Hostile Charms,” Bienvenue Press is running a sale on several of the other titles in this Southern Gothic family saga series. Now is a great time to dive into the drama of the early 1900s and catch up with the Melling, Easton, and Davenport families.

///

  The Mobile Public Library has invited the authors of Mobile Writers Guild HALLOWEEN PIECES anthology to submit an excerpt and/or describe the inspiration for their stories via video for the library’s YouTube channel. I’m going to be on video, though my personal videographer won’t be available until sometime next week. (My grandson is a busy man.) I’ll be sure to post the info when it’s scheduled to run.

///

  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same, (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)

cj

   FYI gentle reader: Part of the proceeds from the sales of HOMETOWN HEROS benefits The Cajun Navy…you remember those hometown heroes who, right now, have trailered their boats to Lake Charles, LA, to help the victims of Hurricane Laura. The anthology theme might be Christmas, but the stories are timeless.

  TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has re-opened to limited hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

➜ Follow me . . .             

➜ on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj

 on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor  

 on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson

 on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Culturally diverse communities


cj Sez: The nation celebrated Independent Book Sellers Day yesterday. Yay, indies! Indie bookstores are slowly rebounding, and one of the main reasons (I think) is because they take pride in working hard to serve our culturally diverse communities. 

   These small stores are usually shoe-string operations in need of multicultural support.

   For your reading pleasure and support, following is a short list of indie bookstores owned by Black proprietors (most are owned by women and most do mail order sales):

·  Black Garnet Books - Minneapolis, MN
https://bookshop.org/shop/blackgarnetbooks
·  Brave and Kind Books - Decatur, GA  (a neighborhood kids bookstore)
braveandkindbooks.com
·  Semicolon - Chicago, IL
https://www.semicolonchi.com/
·  Brain Lair Books - South Bend, IN
https://www.semicolonchi.com/
·  Harriet's Bookshop - Philadelphia, PA
https://www.harriettsbookshop.com/
·  Eso Won Books - Los Angeles, CA
https://www.esowonbookstore.com/
·  The Lit Bar - Bronx, NY
http://www.thelitbar.com/
·  Cafe Con Libros - Brooklyn, NY
https://www.cafeconlibrosbk.com/
·  Frugal Bookstore - Roxbury, MA
https://frugalbookstore.net/

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Passing along writerly info . . .

   Because I just this week found this “Call for Black Writers,” it’s really time constrained…BUT if you’ve got a manuscript submission ready,

   Harlequin’s Graydon House and HQN Books imprints are accepting unagented submissions from Black writers up until September 8, 2020, and Inkyard Press is accepting submissions until August 31, 202--- as well as all of the month of March 2021. Please go to the link for more information about the specific imprints, how to submit and some frequently asked questions.
/// 
   From Writers in the Storm blog comes a post that describes something I do when I write…except I call mine a “Character Profile.” Whether you’re writing a series or a stand-alone novel or perhaps a poem, creating this document is immensely helpful for continuity and for dialogue. When you fully know characters, descriptions and backstories, you will know exactly how your characters will react and what they will say in any situation you place them. Not all backstory will be seen on the pages of the book nor should it, but it will definitely be noticed by the reader.
 ///
  The following post on GetPocket dot com is not your usual “How to” article. That is to say, it doesn’t offer a step-by-step method, but it might make writers feel better about their repetitious use of certain words when they’re writing the next great American novel.

///

A contest with no entry fee and a cash prize! 
  This from Bienvenue Press: “We are pleased to announce our 2020 Halloween Short Story Contest! 1st place winner receives $50!”  Submission info here: https://bit.ly/3goH3Dj 


///
Speaking of Halloween . . .

  This anthology is coming soon from the Mobile Writers Guild: 


///

  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same, (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)

cj

FYI gentle reader, part of the proceeds of HOMETOWN HEROES benefits The Cajun Navy--you remember those hometown heroes who, right now, are trailering their boats to Lake Charles, LA, to help the victims of Hurricane Laura. 

  The stories in the anthology may have a Christmas theme, but they are timeless short reads.  The book is available on Amazon or can be ordered through your favorite bookstore.

   Speaking of Independent Book Seller Day…one of my favorite indie book seller is The Haunted Bookshop, and look at some of their specials:  

  TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has re-opened to limited hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

NOTE: Facebook and its “new and improved” format changed the URL for my author page. So here’s the “new and improved” link to my FB site: https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor   

Now all my existing books and short stories have a non-working URL Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg and minions.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CjPettersonAuthor  
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
         on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Tropical storms and anthologies


cj Sez: I don’t have to ask what’s next for 2020 because the weather channel informs me there’s a good chance that TS/cum Hurricanes Laura and Marco which are entering the Gulf of Mexico might just make a visit to my home.

///
Passing along writerly info . . .

Why anthologies can be good things…this from author Chuck Jackson:   
  “I have often seen promotions for a writing contest. There seems to be a proliferation of them covering every genre of writing. Daily, when I’m scanning the many blog post that I follow, I see their announcements. I frequently wish I had the time needed to write something original or unique to submit. But I’ve learned if you will invest the time in a contest that fits your style, you can get the recognition you seek. The ones that catch my attention aren’t the ones that offer only cash prizes; although, I wouldn’t refuse the money. I notice the ones that provide their anthology to include my writing. 
  If you win a cash prize only contest, after they make the announcement on the host site, and you spend the cash prize, that ends the acclamation. What does an anthology offer? An anthology doesn’t stop at the communiqué. Every time a reader sees and hopefully purchases the book, you get the desired effect.”

  Read more of his blog post here:
///

  Killer Nashville announced the winners for their Claymore and Silver Falchion contests. Read all about it here:  https://mailchi.mp/killernashville/killer-nashville-awards-announcement?e=cacf12f8e4 

///

A flash fiction contest with no entry fee and a cash prize! 
  This from Bienvenue Press: “We are pleased to announce our 2020 Halloween Short Story Contest! 1st place winner receives $50!”  Submission info here: https://bit.ly/3goH3Dj 

  Last day to submit is September 30. (cj sez: I can’t believe I’m writing that, because it’s only a little over a month away. The last thing I remember before the earth went spinning out of control was being treated by my grandson to “Sunday Afternoon Tea with the Mobile Opera” … on March 8.)

///
Speaking of anthologies . . .
   
  My romantic suspense short story, tentatively titled “The Substitute,” has been accepted for inclusion in Bienvenue Press’s 2020 Christmas charity anthology, HOMEROOM HEROES.

  My tale is about an FBI agent working undercover as a substitute adapted physical education teacher for physically and mentally challenged students while he investigates Federal fraud and tax evasion. He is, at the same time, making a move on the beautiful, first-grade teacher assigned to help him with his students.

  The inspiration for the story is my lovely daughter-in-law who is one of those special adapted PE teachers as well as a Special Olympics volunteer.

  Part of the proceeds from book sales will benefit the Acadiana Writing Project. Be sure and watch for news of the pre-order and launch date! 

///

  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same, (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)

cj


P.S.  I dropped off signed copies of my short story (“Love is Immortal”) in the BIENVENUE TO THE CHATEAU ROUGE anthology at The Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has re-opened to limited hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon:     Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook:   https://bit.ly/3bdwcZu
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
         on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Lyrical Pens is on hiatus this week

cj Sez: Time to take a break…




In the last week and a half, 

my family has lost two beloved members.


Add those losses to the rest of 2020, 

and I'm taking a break to regroup. 




"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die..."
                                         Thomas Campbell




You-all guys keep on keeping on, 
and I'll try to do the same. 

(Note: The deaths were not Covid-19 related.)


Romans 8:38-39

Sunday, August 9, 2020

What do authors do after they type "The End?"

cj Sez:   Other than the deep, time-constrained editing that happens, one of the hardest parts of the writing process comes after an author has typed THE END on the last page of the manuscript and sent it off for publication: the task of marketing the beautiful baby.

  Whether traditionally, indie-, or self-published, the task of marketing accrues to all authors. In today’s literary world, big-name publishing houses are requiring their equally big-name author-clients to help market their own brand and creations. (Anyone remember seeing the advertising for “Master Classes” on TV? James Patterson and Margaret Atwood will teach you creative writing. Martin Scorsese will even teach you filmmaking.) The ultimate goal of marketing is, of course, to garner attention for the work and increase sales income—i.e., payment for all the hours, days, and months the author put in creating the manuscript.

  Like James Patterson and Margaret Atwood, authors need to connect with their readers. Actually, they must connect with their readers. “It used to be” that authors did readings at book clubs and libraries. They did book signings and media (TV/press/radio) interviews. In 2020, all of that marketing requires social distancing and working virtually…Zoom interviews and meetings are de rigueur. But even virtually, those tasks require (gasp) public speaking, a scary proposition for authors who spend their days in writing solitude.  That’s where a formulaic “stump speech” can offer a degree of confidence.
   
   The first thing I did when my first novel was handed off to the publisher was to outline a flexible stump speech. Unless I’m given four or five minutes to read an excerpt, I start with an anecdote. Then I give a brief bio, including why I use a pen name and how I chose it. I follow up with something about where the idea for the story came from, the research involved, the characters, and I read a short excerpt or two. I flesh out my speech outline with a few comments below the bullet points then print it out in large, bold, double-spaced type and practice it. That helps me with timing the length of my presentation and makes me familiar enough with the flow that I don’t have keep my head down to read it word-by-word and line-by-line.

   Even tho I haven’t given a presentation in front of a live group in a while, my stump speech helped me become more comfortable doing ad lib interviews. The more often I’m called on to be a “public person,” the easier the communication becomes.

  Caveat for public speaking: Refresh your stump speech for every presentation, and really, really know your work, because the Q&A will bring some surprising questions—always

  A fellow Sisters-in-Crime/Guppy member came up with seven quick points for dealing with the scary thought of having to speak in public (and she’s so good at it, public speaking seems second nature to her):

1.      Research your audience
2.      Plan
3.      Practice
4.      Know your stuff!
5.      DON’T worry.
6.      Get big.
7.      Love it and embrace it.

P.S.: * “Stump” is another word for “campaign” —like politicians do when they’re trolling for votes. Authors are trolling for sales.
///
Passing along writerly info:

A contest with no entry fee and a cash prize!  

This from Bienvenue Press: “We are pleased to announce our 2020 Halloween Short Story Contest! 1st place winner receives $50!”  

Submission info here: https://bit.ly/3goH3Dj


Press Release:  August 3, 2020 – 
   Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced that the 2020 winner of the annual Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award is Yasmin McClinton of Columbia, SC. The winning novel-in-progress was selected by judges Rachel Howzell-Hall, Alex Segura and the 2019 winner, Jessica Martinez. 



   2020 Killer Nashville Claymore Award Finalists have been announced: https://killernashville.com/2020-killer-nashville-silver-falchion-award-finalists-announced/

The judges have chosen their favorites, now it’s the readers’ turn. Vote your favorite for the Readers’ Choice Award here: https://killernashville.com/awards/killer-nashville-readers-choice-award/

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cj Sez:  Lyrical Pens on Blogger is still in jeopardy. Blogger tells me the “legacy” version of their site will be available until August 24. The idea of having to learn another new program is trying my patience.

  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

 (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)

cj

 I just dropped off signed copies of my short story in the “Bienvenue to the Chateau Rouge” anthology at The Haunted Bookshop. TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has limited re-opening hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

➜ Follow me . . .
➜         on Amazon:     Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
➜         on Facebook:   https://bit.ly/3bdwcZu
➜         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
         on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Slowly reopening


cj Sez: Businesses around Mobile closed by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic are tentatively re-opening, and the ones I’m most interested in are the restaurants. I am getting so tired of cooking that I've even opted for a McDonald’s spicy chicken sandwich. I know, I know. Don’t judge me, but desperate times require desperate measures.

   Then!  I saw some of my favorite “real” restaurants advertising family meal bundles. That’s five (sometimes six) whole meals…choice of meat (grilled chicken, chicken Parmesan, small steaks, mahi and shrimp), veggie, salad, rolls, and one place even offers chocolate chip cookies.  And it’s drive-through, curbside, or delivery services. With my handy-dandy microwave, I can enjoy full meals for a week without having more than a plate, coffee cup, fork, and knife to wash. Now I can carry on…and probably gain weight.

///
   
   The Christmas charity anthology to which I submitted my short romance story will be titled HOMEROOM HEROES, and, of course, the stories are all about teaching and teachers. It’s too early to expect any reply from the publisher whether they’ve accepted my short story, which, by the way, I tentatively titled “The Substitute.”

  My tale is about an FBI agent working undercover as a substitute adapted physical education teacher for physically and mentally challenged students while he investigates Federal fraud and tax evasion. On day one at Hillger Elementary School, he finds himself attracted to the beautiful, first-grade teacher assigned to help him.

   An author friend of mine always builds an album of inspiration photos of her characters—Carrie Dalby writes a marvelous Southern Gothic historical fiction series. I’ve never thought to do that for anything I write, but she inspired me to do the same for this story.

   The first grade teacher in my story is a Special Olympics volunteer, and there is one student in a wheelchair that I’ve chosen to name. The picture that struck me as the perfect inspiration for a scene described in the story is this photograph of my granddaughter, Maggie Rose, at the 2019 Special Olympics event in Mobile. Her love for those challenged kids shines through, and needless to say, I think she is a beautiful inspiration.
///

Passing along writerly info:
   Thinking about trying to make a little extra income by freelancing as a side hustle? Jane Friedman talks about the 3 Ps of freelancing in her latest blog post.

   “When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it can be tempting to say yes to every project that comes your way. This is a trap that full-time writers, as well as those who supplement their income with freelance editing or coaching, can fall into.
    But, as in writing, the key to success is often to go narrow. You can develop a more successful freelance business—and in particular an editing business—by being more focused and strategic with the three Ps: positioning, packaging, and pricing.”
  

 
///
   
   That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, 
and I’ll try to do the same.  (Raising prayers for your health and safety.)

Last little note: Blogger is changing it's format requirements, and so far I hate them...ergo, there may or may not be a blogger Lyrical Pens next week. If not, know that I am working on a new site and will be back as soon as possible which, being a seriously flawed computer geek, may be a while. 

cj


TO ORDER my autographed books or any book of your choice on-line from my favorite indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: The Haunted Bookshop  The store has limited re-opening hours, so you can stop and shop, too.

➜ Follow me . . .
         on Amazon:     Amazon Central Author Page = https://amzn.to/2v6SrAj
         on Facebook:   https://bit.ly/3bdwcZu
         on BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cj-petterson
         on Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fcN3h6