Are you still there?

I’ve been lax in everything writing this year, no need to go into details—you get it. Shockingly it’s taken me literally a full year to write 50,000 words for book two of my Detective Gagon series. I thought I should pop in and make my presence renown and perhaps a few of you might be waiting for this. It’ll be heading off the editor this week with plans to drop in August.

Blurb in the works :

Detective Gagon is called to the sewers of Toronto, an unusual location for a homicide. While she’s racing to find answers, another person is murdered miles away, inside their home. Both victim’s eyes were removed. Distracted by secrets she’s keeping from her girlfriend, Dr. Krista Jones, Toronto’s lead coroner, a young police cadet offers his help; she gets him involved in a way that risks her own career. On a race to stop a serial killer, and desperately trying to help Dr. Jones shed her past, Gagon traps herself in a web of deceit. Overworked and stretched thin, ultimate choices have to be made before more people die. Can she solve the case, help Dr. Jones, and keep her career intact? Ride along with Detective Marcy Gagon and find out.

SELLING BOOKS ON TIKTOK –

I heard TikTok is a good place for authors to be.

Yes I’m old. Yes I’m learning as I go.

And in spite of what others have said about it being a waste of time…

I posted this 60 sec video about supporting other indie writers by buying their paperbacks. No selfie, no talking, just books.

Guess what?

Over 200 views in 24 hrs and people messaging me asking for my indie book recommendations. I may not be selling my books yet – but I am perhaps selling yours!

Why say no to ANY free advertising?

WHY?

Are you on TikTok? Friend me @authortheresajcbs

We are more than one thing.

When I hear authors saying, “Stick to one genre, you’ll be more popular”, I get IRKED. I am more than one thing; you are too.

At my day job, I work in multiple departments to keep busy. If I’m having a slow day in administration, I can hop on the phones and take sales, or join the retail team to cash out customers. Heck I’ve even gone to the warehouse to pick product.

At home I’m a wife, a dog mom/walker, a chief, a cleaner, gardener, furniture assembler, financer, and the occasional handy-assistant. (Husband is all that too — that’s the point)

So why when I write must I work with one tool? Well, guess what, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. I enjoy testing the waters of new ideas. The characters for each genre are so vastly different, too. This helps me stay fresh, innovative and bring more to my fans than same ole’ same ole’.

What are your roles in life, do you stay with what you know, or enjoy dabbling in everything? Share your thoughts with our fellow readers. OR make the case against me as to why staying true is the ultimate.

Need an editor, mentor, sounding board, or have questions about your work? Check out https://camaplot.com/

Everything Somewhere …

Welcome one and all, let me introduce you to a young up and coming author, David Kummer. His new book, Everything Somewhere will be coming out soon and I got the opportunity to chat with him about it. Read his interview below. Please drop a comment, ask questions, and be sure to check out his website at the end for a sneak peek at chapter one!

How did this idea begin?

This book originated from a few different ideas and intentions. One of the first and major ideas was to write a book about my hometown, specifically the people and stories that make up the place. That hometown, Madison, Indiana, is a major character in the book, though under the name of Little Rush. I tried to write honestly and openly about the good and the bad, from different point of views.

That idea evolved into two major themes throughout the book. Everything, Somewhere is all about normal life. Sure, there are some incredible things that happen, ranging from the unlikely to the improbable, but everything is about accepting and treasuring average life. Writing this allowed me to explore the idea of a normal life, what that means, the pros and cons, and this eventually led to another big topic. Writing about mental illness and suicide gave me the chance to write a heartwarming but brutally honest story about the state of today’s teenagers, but also adults. Balancing these two themes and a plot full of big characters, big ideas, was an incredibly rewarding experience. I have no doubt that it’ll be just as rewarding for you to read.

I've seen you mention on social media that this has been one of your most difficult books to write, why?

This book is the most open I’ve ever been about mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse. Not everything in the book is stuff I’ve experienced personally. Instead, I tried to paint a realistic and brutal picture of what the average teenager goes through nowadays, but also with adults and their own struggles in mind. I chose the POV characters specifically to show the town and major issues from all different angles.

While this makes the book dark and gripping, there are hopeful moments as well. I think the honesty and openness that I put into the book are what make it such a captivating read. There’s something for everybody, pieces of life that are relatable and hardships that we all face. In that same vein of thought, there are heroes and friends that we all know, relationships we long for or maybe have already. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

What did you edit out of this book?

There were a few plot points and threads that I took out of the book. Some were fully developed chapters, others just paragraphs, but I do have one story to share.

One part that you might find interesting occurred near the beginning of the book. One character is named Willow. There were two chapters written out where she interacts with a friend who is moving out of town, and it’s sort of a goodbye scene meant to foreshadow some events later in the book. The chapters were good, but I decided not to include them. For sake of brevity, sure, but also the friend’s character never got developed enough. Trust me, in the end it was a good thing, though it did have a few killer lines I held onto for later use!

What do you plan on writing next?

I’ve got a weird thriller/mystery/kidnapping story mix that I’ve already written. It’ll need a few rewrites and lots of editing, but I’m super excited for how it’ll turn out. That book is one I’ll consider querying, maybe finding an agent for. It’ll be really fun to advertise, since the hook is pretty great. It’s been a while since I wrote something so exciting or action-packed, but also dark. It’ll be a blast for everyone, as soon as I get time to work on it! College gets in the way a bit.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

For this answer, I could easily have said “Where the Crawdads Sing,” but instead I’ll go with something a bit more obscure. I’ve written about it extensively on my blog, because I have some really weird/cool stories to go along with the book review, but “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters is wildly good! It’s the kind of book I wish I could have written.

While the book is a thriller and a mystery, the beautiful writing takes it from being great to legendary. The plot itself is slow-burning and unnerving, one of the most memorable. There are hints of love and of ghosts, the struggle of grief. It’s all put together perfectly and sticks to your skin even after you’re finished. The last page is, I think, the best closing I’ve ever read, as haunting as the whole book that preceded it. There’s even a movie, if you’re into that sort of thing! So, yeah, this was kinda just another book recommendation. You’ll thank me later.

https://davidkummer.com/

Writing changed my life. It can change yours too.

I began writing as a child, but I was terrified to share it with anyone. When I hit my 40’s and the dreaded midlife crisis began I was asking “IS THIS IT?” and truly disappointed with where I’d led myself to. Life was work, watch TV, repeat.

Thanks to my dear friend Lisa Crawford who informed me of self-publishing, I dusted off the novel that’d been sitting in my drawer for twenty years and I was off!

Unchanged since first loaded Jan 2016 http://Cataclysm was my life long project.

Then I began blogging and connecting on social media with other authors. The scariest next step was live interviews! I tell you I was terrified for my first one. I felt like an imposter talking about my new career. However, once I started chatting and learning that everyone else feels the same way, all my jitters fell away. Don’t let fear stop you! Now I’ll talk to anyone about anything, that’s huge for me. A quick 4 yrs. later and here I am doing an interview with the local paper.

Put yourself out there, the worst that can happen is people say no – and they will – however it’s the YES’S that count and those will come too.

If you’ve read all the way to here I have a special for you. Do you have a book you want to promote? Drop the comment with a link and I’ll add it to my #WHATTOREAD2021 page – FREE. Check it out below, you can drop your comment there too if you prefer. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

https://authortheresajacobs.wordpress.com/what-to-read-2021/?fbclid=IwAR1Q0Z2UZzk8j15AYdfsKK0fZ9rMgABV4WFTYhisdthbuqn4ESqvF1pWsW8

Good Reviews/Bad Reviews what does it all mean?

I’ve discussed reviews a few times over the years, and recently I see many new authors struggling to make sense of it all. My best analogy is, take four friends to a movie and you’ll come out with four different opinions. For the most part, that is all reviews are – opinions.

However if you find in a lot of your reviews a similar theme, IE: plot holes, character flaws, grammar issues, then you know those areas are problematic. You need to take them all with a grain of salt, and a learning tool. Use what you need, ignore the rest.

I am going to leave you with two examples here of wildy opposing reviews from a book I recently read that I absolutely fell in love with – AND from one of own books too!

https://www.amazon.com/Demonologist-Novel-Andrew-Pyper-ebook/dp/B008J4TDSO

The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]
TAKEN FROM AMAZON
5 ***** Review
The “Demonologist” is without a doubt the most unusual story I have read this year. Breathtaking in its suspense and narrative scope, this story unfolds slowly at first, then gaining speed to the final pages and denouement, drawing all the strands of the story to a surprise finish with a double meaning. Supernatural occurrances interwoven with flashbacks and the present storyline kept me on the edge of my seat to the point that I finished it in two days, nearly couldn’t put it down, but at the same time being unable to read this in bed before trying to sleep due to the disturbing subject matter. The author is masterful in his prose, so good that I need to look up other writings of his – the only question is which one is next, and of course how can it possibly match what I just finished reading. You will need to suspend your sense of what works in the present world a bit, but its easily done because of the way it draws you in! Highly recommended & Five Stars!
The Demonologist: A Novel by [Andrew Pyper]

1 * Review
DEMONOLOGIST…..This is the worst book I have ever read! The book begins with a divorce, goes on to a close friend telling the main character that she is dying. The book includes suicide, a desperate chance in Rome to be brought to help a man in deep religious torment. The entire situation terrifies him meanwhile the author sees John Milton’s PARADISE LOST as an evil piece of literature. Confused? the book gets worse. The main character returns to America and starts having evil hallucinations and this mess just gets worse and worse I cannot see how this mess ever got published! Don’t bother to try to read it. It’s a lost caus

NOW MINE

TAKEN FROM AMAZON

5****

 Good space drama/character study Wow! This book had me biting my nails to the end. It wasn’t that there was so much action involved (although there were pivotal moments with some action that moved the story along all in a leap). It was more that you grew to care about the characters and were left on the edge of your seat, wondering what was going to happen to them. Would they ever escape their imprisonment? Was there anything out there for them if they did escape? It was so grim in the beginning, I found my mood altering to match Finn’s dark brooding, his wish to keep everyone he cared about safe, his helplessness at being unable to do so. When events occurred, I was puzzled and alarmed and joyful right along with him, the mark of a good story. I’m glad I took this ride.

1*

Cardboard characters Such an interesting idea, so unconvincingly developped. What a pity.

So there you have it, people love it or hate it, or somewhere inbetween it! Give it your all, get an editor, and keep writing! I’d love to see some of your best and worst reviews. Share in the comments and show the world we’re not alone in this crazy journey!

Expand your writing horizon

We tend to stick to what we know, or what others say they want from us. But why?

As a writer you are a born creator, so expand your skill set and try something new. For instance, I began writing novels right out the gate. I’ve never cared to read short stories because it felt like a snippet to something bigger and I was always left wanting more.

However as I am honing my craft, I discovered short stories are the best way to tighten my skills. When I started writing the shorts, I started reading them too – now I love them.

One day I was approached to write a 15 min screenplay. HUH, I never wanted to do this before, but I did it and guess what – I enjoyed the new style it required!

Don’t pigeon hole yourself, you never know what else you will like, and perhaps even be more excited to work on.

Through experimenting, I have a song, poetry, kids picture books, YA novels, horror, crime, sci-fi, a film produced and another complete full length movie written.

Stay fresh and innovative and check out what all you can do too!

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