Friday, November 30, 2012

Human Nature - Thought Processes

HAPPY FRIDAY! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Today's the last day of my Human Nature series. I hope you've followed along with me and have gained a deeper understanding of your characters this week. Thank you all so much for being fans and followers of my blog!

As you can see, we delve into Thought Processes today. This will be a summation of the week because each of the topics discussed followed a Thought Process. Your character wavered, decided, and acted. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get rolling!

If you didn't realize, there are a ton of thought processes. I'm only going into four types here today.
  1. Lateral - This thought process derives a solution from things that aren't immediately obvious. You aren't using the lateral thought process if you use a step-by-step approach. These people are generally creatives and find new ways to do things. A lateral thinker can be the most dangerous type of character. They're the ones that rig up a contraption to stab someone in the back rather than plunging the knife in with their own hand. However, they're also the most likely to make it out of a sticky or dangerous situation.
  2. Common Sense - It's exactly what it sounds like. Common sense is using facts concerning the situation to come to a sound conclusion. Kind of like: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. This doesn't apply to fantasy where characters can appear to be ducks. But your character either has common sense or doesn't. They may begin a love affair thinking it won't have an effect on them even though the same action destroyed their own family unit. If they use common sense, the love affair wouldn't take place. In a stressful situation, they may react in a positive way but they find it difficult to look outside the box.
  3. Parallel - Folks that can do this look at two sides of the situation at the same time. Once one is discarded, another comparison takes its place. This type of thinking continues until a decision is reached. When considering revenge, this type of person is the most dangerous because they've considered every possible angle before ever making the first move.
  4. Personal Experience - Obviously, this type of thought process allows the person to draw conclusions from life experiences. This type can take things to a light or dark place, depending on life events. If the person has only been deceived or betrayed by everyone they ever knew, they'll assume every person they meet is the same way. There is no lateral thinking by someone who only draws from personal experience.
As humans, we rarely use just one type of thought process. For example: Most authors are lateral thinkers who use common sense and help it along with personal experience. If we used just one thought process, we would be flat and dull.

Now, when your character decides to partake in a Love Affair, you need to ask yourself why. Revenge? Grudge they're holding? Or simply a reaction to a situation? In this case, we'll use an example with easy to follow bullet points. But first, let's set the scene.

A married man is out with his friends. He's just had an argument with his wife during which she called him a pig and told him to get out. A beautiful, smart, friendly woman approaches the man and engages with him before asking if he'd like to go back to her place. His friends urge him to take the plunge. What does he think and do? His options are:
  • Remove his wedding ring
  • Gain hero status with his idiot friends
  • Take the woman back to her place
  • Ruin his marriage or his sanity
  • Lie forever
  • Tell the truth after and deal with it
  • Politely tell the woman he's married
  • Deal with being called a chump
  • Go home
  • Tell the wife what happened
  • Be the good guy
  • Tell the woman he's married but arguing with his spouse
  • Take her number
  • Leave his wife
  • Get a divorce
  • Start seeing the new girl
If the man lets all of these scenarios pass through his head, he knows the likely outcome of his actions. From there, he'll make a decision. We know from human nature which one is most likely, but a character can surprise us now and again. He may never consider the real ramifications of his actions, sleep with the woman, and ruin his psyche and relationship without realizing what he's doing. It could all happen over a simple argument where he held on to the hurt and allowed it to destroy him. His thought process probably went something like this:
  • My wife was cruel and doesn't care for me
  • This woman is interested
  • No one will ever find out
  • What if they do?
  • Should I do this or not?

A young girl is just turning into a woman. She gets her first period at school and has no way to clean up because she doesn't understand what's happening to her. Add a group of girls who tease her every day for a month and you have a character with a grudge. What are her options?
  • Pretend it doesn't bother her
  • Silently plot revenge
  • Get dirt on the girls and spread rumors
  • Watch as their lives fall apart
  • Pretend it doesn't bother her
  • Cry every night because they were mean
  • Quit going to school
  • Allow it to ruin her life and make her a pariah
  • Tell the girls what she thinks
  • Let it go, understanding it's part of the cycle of life thing and the girls are just being cruel
  • Continue on and forget what happened
  • Learn from the experience
Does this sound familiar? Think of the book Carrie by Stephen King. That girl took it to a dark place and killed a bunch of people. Human nature shows us that we can only take so much. We would hope the girls would apologize later but it's not likely if they were cruel enough to do what they did in the first place. This girl's thought process probably went like this:
  • What's happening to me?
  • Should I say something to them?
  • I'm a freak
  • Maybe I'm not a freak
  • Should I get back at them?
Your characters are defined by their reaction to situations and thought processes that bring them to a conclusion. Decisions they make shape them into the characters they are. Remember to be true to life first. The very best fiction comes from truth.

Question of the day: Has this week helped you at all with character development or deeper understanding?

I hope you've all enjoyed this week's posts and took something away from them.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Human Nature - Situation Reaction

You made it over humpday, good people of the blogosphere! Welcome to Thursday. This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:
  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
As you can see, today is Situation Reaction. I love this topic! So, grab your pens and your handy-dandy notebook and let's get to it!

If you've truly given thought to your character, knowing how they will react in certain situations is easy to ascertain. Psychology tells us there are two basic reactive types and people will react to stress in certain ways depending on their internal makeup. Those two types are:
  1. Fight - This is where the person is facing a threat either bodily or mentally and they choose to face it head on. These types of people fight for themselves no matter the danger.
  2. Flight - Easy to understand, these people are runners. They're the ones who freeze up in the face of danger or avoid it altogether.
We had a heady debate in Psych 101 where I argued that someone who had never seen a gun (and had no idea what a gun was), wouldn't be scared if a gun were used to threaten them (even if they were a flight personality). I was thinking of Native Americans that were faced with the guns of the settlers. Until the Native Americans knew what a gun could do, they had no reason to have fear of one. Makes sense, no?

Making your character one or the other is central to your story. Understanding why they react the way they do is central to your character. It's simple, really:
  • Those who are fighters either don't care if they die or they don't have a lot to lose.
  • Those who fly are scared of death and know they have a lot to lose.
This can be played upon when threatening a loved one of someone who usually flies instead of fights. Take a mother who is complacent and a known flier and her child. Then, put that child in danger via a direct threat. You may be surprised at how quickly that meek flier turns into a snarling fighter. But why is that?

A simple answer would be the protective instinct. If we delve more deeply, we'll most likely find that woman first sought a way out of the situation before putting herself in harm's way. Ah ha! Now you have something to build on and a great source of tension for your novel. Keep in mind that the woman didn't simply change what type she was on a dime, rather that she had something more precious than her own life to worry about. We'll go into that further tomorrow during Thought Processes.

Which type of person we are is an inherent part of our nature. This applies to fictional characters as well. However, your character is on a journey and this is yet another way in which you can bring about change from page 1 to page 400. Remember, the best fiction comes from fact.

Question of the day: Have you ever been faced with danger? How did you react?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Human Nature - Seeking Revenge

Happy Wednesday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair 
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Today is day three and we'll be talking about Seeking Revenge. Grab those papers and pens and let's get going!

There are a few types of people who seek revenge. Some who do it on purpose, and some who do it without realizing what they're doing when it happens. Here's a breakdown:
  1. Vengeful and Proud - This type of person lets it be known they are out for blood. If you piss this type of person off, they're going to tell you that you better watch your back. Rest assured, you should watch your back. Of the many types, this is probably the least common. But, on the bright side, they're also the most honest type of person. If you hurt them, they'll be in your face warning you. You'll be told what you did to cause them to seek revenge and exactly how they're going to make it happen. At least you know what's coming. They oftentimes regret the vengeance afterward, but it doesn't stop them from acting out in the first place. They feel justified at first; only to lament the decision later.
  2. Vengeful Without Qualms - These people are out to hurt anyone that hurts them. They don't care if you have sixteen children and it's your last dollar they force you to give up knowing everyone will starve. It doesn't bother them later. There is no remorse and they'll let you know it. Watch out for these types. While they make good characters, they also must be without a conscience at all. It can prove difficult for them to be allowed to form any type of relationship. Ever.
  3. Sneaky Vengeance - Oh my. People like this hit you and you never see it coming. You may not even know what you did to bring it on until after the proverbial poo has been splattered by the fan and lands in your open mouth. They are dangerous because they put on a smile and work to stab you in the back however they can. Acts brought about by them will destroy your life and you may not even be able to trace the source of the pain back to this person. They make great characters because they can constantly throw in a gauntlet for your hero/heroine to overcome while still being the pretend BFF. They will never ever admit to being the cause of the pain.
  4. Woeful Vengeance - Meek, honest to a fault, and shy people act out woeful vengeance. They may do something unintentionally to get revenge. Only after the fact do they realize what a horrible thing they've done and they usually rush to apologize and admit their wrongdoing. These people beat themselves up daily for what they did and often have a difficult time moving past it, even if the other person forgives them for the wrongdoing. It can change them for the better or worse. That's up to the character's personality and you, the writer. Let it be a lesson or a life-altering event.
All types of people who seek revenge do it for a specific reason: they feel pain. A desire to make the other person feel pain is at the root of their actions. Even the woeful vengeance type will harbor a secret desire to get back at the person that wronged them in some small way. Human nature tells us that if we intentionally wrong someone, we should watch our backs. It's the same in a story. If your character does a dirty deed, they should be careful. If they aren't, they'll be naive in nature.

You can use this in character development for both the revenge seeker and any companions he/she may have. Lessons in how people react to situations go a long way in showing your reader just how a character can change from page 1 to page 400.

Question of the day: Have you ever experienced a revenge seeker? Have you ever been one? What type were they/you?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Human Nature - Holding a Grudge

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:

  • The Love Affair
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
Day 2 is here so let's talk about Holding a Grudge. Grab your paper and pens and let's get going!

When we are wronged in some way, it tends to stick with us for a long period of time. Humans aren't equipped to deal with betrayal when someone has our perfect trust unless we work very hard at it. It makes us angry and, sometimes, we hold on to that anger far longer than we should. Letting go is an art form. This should happen the same way with your character. Remember to be true to life first.

If you have immortal characters, holding a grudge can be a good way to move toward Seeking Revenge. However, you can use a grudge from a betrayal to help your reader get a better sense of your character's personality. There are three basic types of characterization here:
  1. Never Letting it Go - These people can't get over even the smallest slight that's done to them by anyone. They allow hurts and betrayals to fester and boil. It destroys friendships, families, and possibly entire worlds in its wake. Pain is taken to a bitter place and makes the person ugly on the inside. But, on the bright side, this person is an honest one who refuses to lie about how people make them feel. On the dark side, it usually leads to Seeking Revenge and the character never trusting another person. Ever.
  2. Pretending to Let it Go - People who pretend to let it go but don't really are the ones most commonly found. Most people don't want anyone to know they hold the grudge so will pretend like the act of betrayal didn't bother them as much as it did. These are the people plotting a slow death via a sneak attack against whoever wronged them in the first place. They may still be friends with the person who did them wrong; but it's all an act. It's almost impossible for them to forgive completely. Relationships with others become strained from this person's POV. Everyone else should believe things are fine. This person oftentimes also never trusts anyone else but they also never let on they feel that way.
  3. Forgiving Completely - Complete forgiveness takes a special kind of person. These are ones who will try to see all sides of the picture and gather an understanding of why the wrong was done in the first place. Now, that's not to say this person will continue to be friends with the person who committed the wrong; it's just that they won't hold the hurt in their heart. There's no revenge plotting going on with this type of person; they just release the other into the wild and bid them adieu. This person will trust another blindly and will oftentimes end up hurt again down the road the same way. It's a vicious cycle.
All three of these types of people make great characters. If you use the first, you can create either a really evil character or one who is very honest. Perhaps they move on to Seeking Revenge, perhaps not. But it's that difference that will make or break the persona you create. When using the second, you're guaranteed to create a lying, backstabbing, vengeful character who grows bitter. Special characters should be reserved for those that you want to be good through and through. This is not to say they can't struggle with the decision. It also doesn't mean they can't start out as type one. Hell, it's a journey, right? Change them in that way.

You're the writer. These are all decisions you make as you write (or before you begin). Remember that in order to have a character who reacts appropriately to a situation, you first must have a deep understanding of every facet of their personality. You may change them along the way, but it needs to be part of the journey.

Question of the day: What's the most common type you've encountered?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Human Nature - The Love Affair

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! This week I'm going to be discussing a few different facets of human nature as they relate to characters and writing. See the quick schedule below:
  • The Love Affair
  • Holding a Grudge
  • Seeking Revenge
  • Situation Reaction
  • Thought Processes
You can see today is about Love Affairs and why characters have them. Let's get started, shall we?

As writers, we are students of human nature. If you're a reader as well (and you should be if you're a writer), you've met a lot of people. Yes, many of them were fictional. But I'd be willing to bet you've thought how similar a character's actions are to what someone you know would do. It's because that writer pulled information from life to create the character.

Why do humans have love affairs? There are a multitude of reasons behind them. This gives you a plethora of selections when deciding why your character is going to do it. They aren't always epic reasons. Sometimes, it's as simple as a feeling the person is having in the moment, drugs, or alcohol in copious amounts. Let's go through them:
  1. Feelings of Loneliness - This is probably the most common reason. Even if someone has a multitude of friends and a significant other in their lives, they will have a moment where they will feel lonely. The feeling can cause even the most astute person to lash or act out by seeking someone to fill the void they have.
  2. A Life-changing Event - Another common cause. If a person has a huge event happen in their life that changes the way they think or if the event causes them pain, they may seek out a romantic involvement to ease the blow.
  3. Opportunity - If a person puts themselves in a situation where the opportunity is there, they might take it just because they can. Especially if they're pretty sure no one will know or find out about it.
  4. Fights with a Significant Other - Fights can increase in frequency if the person discovers it leads to solitude in which they can do whatever they wish. They won't have to worry about being bothered by the person they had the fight with while they're seeking out or spending time with someone else.
  5. A Desire to Cause Pain - This may stem from a painful breakup or anger the person is harboring in their heart toward their ex-significant other or current significant other. Chances are, this will happen and the significant other will either be told or will be allowed to find out in some way.
  6. High Sex-Drive - Sex is not synonymous with a love affair. Sometimes, love affairs are simply affairs of the heart. However, someone with a high sex-drive is more likely to step out of their relationship boundaries if that relationship isn't meeting their needs.
  7. Neglect - If the person's significant other isn't showing them enough attention, it may lead to the person seeking out someone who will. This can happen in a variety of ways and commonly ends in a love affair even if that wasn't the initial intention. It's caused by the person finding someone who allows their world to revolve around the person in question. Revolution leads to admiration which leads to a love affair.
  8. Drunk or High - Many times these factors inhibit the normal thought process and lower morals. If you have a person who does this often, they're probably going to screw up at some point and regret it later. These folks sometimes tell what happened, sometimes not.
Now, any character that's going to do these things (if they're a good person), is going to struggle with the initial decision. It's going to cause strife and pain in their life if they choose to move forward. They'll change the way they interacted with people before the love affair began and they may begin to act out in other ways:
  • Excessive Drinking
  • Bouts of Anger
  • Lethargy
  • Feelings of Being Evil
  • Suspicion of their Significant Other
  • Withdrawal
  • Refusal to do Things they Enjoyed Before
  • Drug Use
A decision to engage in these activities should not be made lightly. Your character should go back and forth between yes and no. After, you can make the fallout be unbelievably bad. It's one version of a Monkey Wrench.

Your character should have something worth losing or the whole thing becomes an exercise in futility. But this option opens a lot of doors and gives you a chance to rebuild that character as a better individual as the story continues. They can now fully grasp the implications of deviant behavior and swear never to do it again, go through rehab, or connect with another character who helps them re-build their lives. It also gives you the ability to re-build the character's significant other if they stay together.

Question of the day: Can you think of another reason your character might have a love affair?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Release Party Dark Expectations

Happy Release day to Janiera Eldrige and help her celebrate the release of  Dark Expectations!
 With Ani taking her place as queen, there are some enemies lurking she
could never imagine! There's a secret compound in California that wants
to know the secrets to making a vampire or werewolf. When they kidnap
Ani during a trip back to California they might actually get what they
want. Her sister Dana, her lover Diego and other vampires do everything
they can to get her back. If they don't succeed,they face being
controlled completely by the human race forever! Dark Expectations is
the exciting sequel to Soul Sisters that's full of adventure, danger and
what it means to be queen!

Grab your copy on
stop by the release party to celebrate the release by playing some games and winning some awesome prizes  from authors
  • Cambria Herbert
  • Jo michaels
  • Alyssa Rose Ivy
  • Yours truly
  • .....and more!
Just click the button below to join in on the fun!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Woman v/s Women

Happy Black Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'd like to talk about that pesky word woman and the plural form women. I see this mistake so often, it's all I can do to not rip out my hair and bang my head on my desk. So, please be so kind as to read on and save me from uglification (holy crapballs, that's a word!).

Woman is the singular. Women is the plural. When you confuse the two, you look uneducated. Period. Grammar Nazi or no, you need to not confuse the simplest parts of speech if you want people to take you seriously as a writer.

Woman - Examples of correct usage:
That woman left her kids in the car all day with no air conditioning!
Would you please tell a woman today how beautiful she is?
Woman, bring me another beer!
Get that woman a mop, because she needs to clean my floors.

Note the word woman generally follows the word a or the word that. Singular. Not they, them, those, we, or otherwise.

Women - Examples of correct usage:
Those women need to buy a clue; that dude isn't interested.
We have five women here today to speak on behalf of our project.
Hard working women are God's gift to the lazy men of the world.
Women, as a collective, need to be kinder to one another!

Note the use of those, are, collective, and five. All of these words give you a clue that we're talking about more than one woman.

Incorrect usage:
That women left her kids in the car yesterday while she went into work!
Would you please tell a women today how beautiful they are?
Those woman are hard working.

I'm hoping you're getting my point. Please please try and remember the difference. An easy way: Men is plural for man. Easy peasy.

What confusion drives you batty?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, good people of the blogosphere! Today, a post about thanks. Buckle in and have a few laughs and a few tears with me!!

First off, let me begin by thanking people:

The Best Boyfriend in the World - Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me every day. It means the world. Your advice is always spot on and I love you more than words. I know I'm a giant pain in the ass sometimes, but you're still here! I'm thankful for you every day.

My Mom - You've always been such an advocate of me, no matter what I was trying to do with myself. Your support has carried me through some very dark times, got me off my ass and made me try harder, and given me strength when I was weak. Your words, "We don't give up. Ever." meant so much to me. Thank you for being an awesome parent.

My Kidlings - You guys always make me think outside the box. You make me clean, too, but that's a good thing (at least we have a tidy house). Without you five in my life, I would be a lazy buggar. Thank you for every hug, every "I love you, Mom." and every smile you deign to pass my way. I love you all.

My Peers - Thank you for your encouragement, comments, following, and all around awesomeness. I wouldn't trade this community for a million bucks. You guys ROCK.

My Readers - Without you, what would I be? A person hitting keys without direction. You make me a success with every review, kind word, and display of excitement when I have a new book coming out. Thank you for taking a chance on an unknown author and letting me know your opinion of my works. Even when they're bad, they're awesome. Why? Because you took the time to let me know.

My Friends - Some of my peers have become my friends. They know who they are. I look forward to reading your comments on my posts and reading/commenting on yours. I thank you for all your feedback on my books, artworks, and posts. Those of you that have joined forces with me in one way or another: THANK YOU so much for taking the time to get to know me and letting me get to know you.

Now, I'll thank corporations:

Amazon - Thank you for creating KDP publishing!
Smashwords - Thank you for giving me a distribution platform!
Rafflecopter - Thank you for giving me a way to handle promotions!
Blogger/Google - Thank you for the web space and for being such an awesome host!

Well, that's all for today, folks! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lionel's Christmas Adventure Blog Tour

Good morning, lovely people of the blogosphere! Today, I bring you a guest post! Please enjoy.

Hello there everyone, Paul R. Hewlett here. I'm a children's book author and today I like to discuss what it's like writing chapter books for children. First, I would like to than Jo for having me and Kathy at I Am A Reader Not A Writer for hosting the Got Great Giveaways Hop. Thanks also go to Candace at Candace's Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination for hosting the Saturday Situation Giveaway linky. I'm currently on the Lionel's Christmas Adventure blog tour, for a full list of dates click here. For a sneak peak at what the books about, watch the trailer below. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a 3-pack of my ebooks.

Writing for the children's/middle grade age group that the Lionel's Grand Adventure series targets can be a challenge. One doesn't want to talk over their heads, but you don't want to dumb things down too much either. This age group is actually quite amazing. On one hand they are perfectly willing to accept magic and fantasy, but on the other hand they do not like having things explained over and over to them.

Another thing about this age group, in some cases the older reader might need things explained to them and are willing to accept and even expect it. This age group, not so. They are remarkable, particularly those that seek out reading, in their ability to make leaps without a lot of explanation. They are able, or at least more willing to do this than older readers.

PhotobucketThe middle grade, and even the lower YA age, are really eager to be bigger and more grownup than they are. They really want to experience grown up things. I know that I loved Encyclopedia Brown books growing up for that very reason. Here was a boy my age that was working as a detective, solving grown up crimes. This age group really want to experience grown up things. It's important to use your main character for this. Kids usually relate to and want to read about characters a bit older than they are. As an example a nine year old will be happy to read about a twelve year old, while a twelve year old probably won't be interested in the adventures of a nine year old (unless it's Harry Potter of course).

It's important not to use too sophisticated of words. It is okay to use bigger words, but in that case it's best to define them within the sentence and story. If you can't do that effectively, it's probably too big of a word. I personally like to keep the sentence structure simple. I think that is goes without saying that 6-12 year olds are much more mature these days than I was at the same age, but I still don't see the benefit of complex sentence structures. One thing that I feel goes over particularly well with this age group is similes. Using the description "like" really brings things to life for this age group. Compare the following sentences.

"Well you better...hey! What are you doing with Ma's yardstick?" asked Feeney.

"Well you better...hey! What are you doing with Ma's yardstick?" asked Feeney, his jaw sticking out like a cash register.

Certainly in the first sentence it's obvious that Feeney is unhappy, perhaps even angry, but in the second sentence he is indignant, even outraged. It's simple things like this that are often overlooked when writing for older readers that really make the pages come alive for middle grade readers.

These are few of my thoughts on writing chapter books for children. I
think my favorite quote, from the Russian writer Maxim Gorky says it
best, "You must write for children the same way you write for adults,
only better."

PhotobucketPhotobucketI'd like to thank Jo once again for having me on her blog. Make sure to pick up your copy of Lionel's Christmas Adventure, available now on Amazon in paperback or ebook. If you haven't read any of Jo's books, make sure you take a look at them all here.

For more information about author Paul R. Hewlett click here. He co-authors a middlegrade/YA blog at SherAHart: My Written Art. Keep up with what's new on Lionel's Grand Adventure FB page.

 My next stop on the tour is tomorrow at Kindle Book Promos. Now onto the giveaway. As a thank you to the reader's, I'm  giving away a
$25 Amazon gift card and 3-pack of my ebooks. Be sure to leave a comment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you've all enjoyed this post! Thank you, Paul, for coming by and giving us a guest post talking about your books AND for the lovely giveaway!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

NaNoWriMo Check In and Winners

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Time for my NaNoWriMo check-in!

As of today, I'm sitting at 40,193 words. HOLY MOLY! It's been a great time. Sadly, my story must begin to end. There must be a final battle and resolution of some kind. It probably won't happen until next week. I have family coming in for the holidays and won't be doing much writing while I'm busy being thankful for those I love.

While I'd LOVE to give you all an excerpt, I'm not sure I can do anything without giving away some of the great surprises that await you in The Bird. But wait! I do have the first of three covers to put out here. Remember, this isn't a sure thing and I always ALWAYS do three versions before I choose a favorite.

Without further ado:

As you can see, this one is all about strong typography.

The next one will be more focused on imagery.

The last will be completely different from the first two.

How's it look?

Now, to announce the winners of the rafflecopter drawing!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATULATIONS!! I'll be in touch shortly!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Auction for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Good morning, lovely people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm gonna tell you about something exciting going on over on Facebook. A group of authors have gotten together and donated books that are being auctioned for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. ALL proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

Interested in learning more? Keep reading!

There are bundles of books over there:
  • Childrens
  • Fantasy/Paranormal
  • Erotica
  • Romance
  • Horror
 Those are being bid on by the BUNDLE and every bundle has at least seven books in it.

There are three more categories where items are being bid on individually:
  • Misc.
  • Misc eBooks
  • Printed and Autographed copies
 There's some GREAT stuff in there ranging from brand new shoes to a KINDLE!

BUT! Bidding ends today! How is the payment/pickup going to work? Good question!

You bid via comment either on the bundle/album or the individual item. Once you're announced as the winner, you must use PayPal to make a donation to the Red Cross. When you send the moderator your receipt, she then lets the author know to send you the book.

Easy peasy!

So get your booties over there and place your bid!

If you're interested in lending a hand, copy/paste this into a tweet: Hurricane Sandy Relief Auction! Scads of books and other items up for bid! RT and go bid! #hurricanerelief #auction

Then go bid.

Did you do it?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Write From Life

Happy FRIDAY, good people of the blogosphere! At the bottom of today's post, I'm gonna list all the fantastic rafflecopters I have going on my blog so you can enter to win! First, I'm going to address something not many people may know about: writing from life. So grab those pens/pencils and notebooks and let's get going!


Most of what we writers put on the page comes from life. We can't help it. If you find a particularly good book, you'll know the writer pulled it right from life and was honest on the page. Characters that seem amazing and well rounded were likely based on someone the person knows in the real world.

Pulling from life may seem like a risk. For some, it's a huge risk (especially when it's an expose) but they're willing to take it. Why? Not to make a million bucks, that's for sure. If you're an author, you know that's a one in a couple hundred thousand shot. They do it because they want to share their story, the people they know, or because their imaginations can't be contained.

Yes, they do really see you with purple skin, six horns, and an eye in the middle of your forehead when they look at you. Calm down, it's not a knock!

They write because they're compelled to write. Something inside of them pulls them to the keys where they simply must tell the story their brains have created. It all comes from life. If you end up as a character in a fiction novel, shake the author's hand; they thought you were interesting enough to write about. If you're the villain, maybe you need to look in the mirror...

Most of us write the truth as we see it. Sure, there's a fictional twist here and there if we're fiction writers, but you'll find that your true self will be exposed if you end up in the pages of a book.

Many of my characters have my personality flaws. As I write, I work through some of them. Others, I adore and want to keep. After all, to be human is to be flawed. However, there's a good chance that reading a book someone has written with you as a main character will teach you how to interact with that person or give you insights into your life you never considered.

Writers are students of human nature. We watch, examine, listen like hawks, and throw in a little fiction before writing it down. It's writing right from life at its finest.

If you're a writer, talk to people, observe them, get them to open up to you in ways you only imagined possible on the pages. You can do it; everyone likes to be listened to. Keep in mind that you shouldn't judge and before long you'll have a notebook teeming with profiles for great, rounded characters.

Now, without further ado, the rafflecopter widgets:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Good morning, people of the blogosphere! Today, we're going to talk about relationships. No, I'm not gonna tell you how to catch or keep a man (or woman). This isn't a dating advice blog. I'm talking about relationships between your characters and how to add tension. So grab that pencil and notebook and let's get going!

We're all familiar with the classic love triangle: one man two women or one woman and two men. The main character is torn between the two and it heightens the suspense in the book. This triangle has been well used in the Twilight series and most of us are familiar with that one. It's basically Bella loves Edward, Edward loves Bella, Jacob loves Bella, Bella thinks she might love Jacob for a minute but not the same way... You get the idea. This is a great relationship plot with a ton of tension opportunity (especially since Jacob's entire reason for being a wolf is so he can kill Edward and those like him).

In addition to having the love triangle, you also need some reason the main character shouldn't be with one of the love interests in order to make the story work. In Canopy, Lissy loves Jash and Tristan. Jash is fused, Tristan is not, Lissy is a purist and refuses to fuse, being with Jash puts her at risk. In Twilight, Bella loves Jacob and Edward. Edward is a vampire, Jacob is a human who happens to sometimes be a wolf, Bella is human, being with Edward puts her at risk.

See where I'm going here?

If you don't want the whole love triangle thing, then you need to give the relationship some kind of problem to overcome. We all have them so draw from your own life or the lives of those you meet. Get out and talk with people. Find out what issues they've had. Are they still with the person? Why or why not? What was the final straw? Why did they choose to forgive and stay?

Humans are human. They make mistakes. In order to have characters that are believable, you must have characters with personality flaws, impulsive behavior, or indecision issues. Get inside the character's head and try to understand where they're coming from. Don't be judgmental, just tell their story. Using a character's flaw can bring you to a decision about how he/she will change from the beginning of the story to the end. If you have a perfect little character with no flaws, they won't be believable. You can add even more tension by adding another love interest for one of the main guys/gals. Now that gives you power!

One of the most believable characters I've read in a while was in the book Beautiful Disaster. He wasn't the main character, but he experienced change from the beginning to the end. Boy was he ever flawed! Succumbing to tempter tantrums, jealousy, and control issues were the least of his problems. It made me interested enough to turn the page again. These character flaws were so bad, he almost became the antagonist and he put the main character through hell.

Remember, every protagonist is on a journey of some kind. They must experience change from the beginning of the story to the end. Either a change of heart, beliefs, character, or something in their life. Without that change, you have a flat, static character.

Your reader wants someone they can identify with or understand. Give it to them.

What characters have you really gotten into lately? Why?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Reading

Good morning, people of the blogosphere! Today, something a bit different! Enjoy it.

Remember to enter the rafflecopter drawing below! Cover reveal for The Bird to come soon! I'll have options for you all to help me choose from. EXCITING TIMES!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you'd rather read it, see below:

Chapter One – The Bird

As the sun began its journey into the sky, Stormy watched it with intensity. Somehow it seemed brighter, like it knew that day would be different. She sighed and lifted her coffee to her lips, blowing the steam away to cool it. A tentative sip later, she relaxed into the chair as the warm liquid made its way down her throat.

Her thoughts turned to the reason she was there and a great wave of sadness settled over her. Mom only had about two months of life left and Stormy wasn’t sure she’d be able to stand it when the family matriarch died. They’d been through so much together and butted heads so many times it was ridiculous. But the love was there, and that’s what mattered. Stormy’s eyes misted up at the memories playing through her head.

A cardinal perched in a bush nearby and cocked his head to the side as if to say, “Hello. What are you doing sitting on my porch?”

She laughed softly and spoke to it. “Hi yourself. I bet you’re happy. It looks like it’s gonna be a beautiful day. Why are you up so early? Oh, right, the early bird gets the worm, huh?” Another chuckle escaped her lips and she wondered if she was losing it. After all, who talks to animals?

It hopped out of the bush and onto the railing nearby; again, cocking its head at her.

“Well, aren’t you a brave little thing?”

In answer, the bird chirped.

Shaking her head, she smirked at the bird and spoke to it again. “You want to know what I’m doing here and who I am, huh?”

It chirped a few more times.

Stormy mumbled, “Well, might as well talk to it. It’s not like I can look any crazier than I already am.” She considered the bird for a moment before beginning. “Okay, you want to know why? I’ll tell you. Listen up, because I’m only telling you once. I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago telling me my mother only had a few months of life left and I needed to come see her. So I got on a plane and flew out here to spend some time in her company. As always, she hasn’t held back her opinions of me, and I’m beginning to regret flying all the way to Missouri. Not to mention my long walk this morning just to procure a cup of freaking coffee because she doesn’t drink it therefore has no pot.”

The cardinal pranced around on the railing and hopped from foot-to-foot before chirping at her again.

“Oh, you want more?”

Another chirp and a fanning of the tail feathers.

“Okay then. I’m sleeping on the most uncomfortable bed known to man, my cell phone died right after I arrived, and I have no laptop because it was consumed by the blue screen of death. I’m stuck out here with my thoughts and I’m talking to a bird; which, by all accounts, makes me nuttier than a Mr. Goodbar. I miss my dogs, my kids, and my life back home in New Jersey – did you recognize the accent? Now I’m facing losing someone I love dearly, but who doesn’t seem to notice I love her. I guess I figured flying out here would be enough. I feel like my whole forty-five years have meant nothing. But you don’t want to hear this.”
Stormy noticed a movement out the side of her eye and whipped her head around to find a spider descending from the eaves with its legs wagging as if in terror it would fall. A horrible thought occurred to her as the cardinal stared at the insect as well.

“Please don’t eat it,” she asked.

When the cardinal shivered, extended its wings, opened its beak, and mimicked throwing up, she laughed out loud.

“Well, aren’t you a clever bird?”

After fluffing its feathers, the bird cocked its head and gave a short chirp before hopping along the railing toward the steps.

Stormy said, “Leaving now? Okay, it was nice talking to you!”

It hopped back, bowed with wings extended, chirped again, then turned and walked deliberately back toward the steps.


The bird hung its head and sighed. Then, it repeated its movements.

“You want me to follow you. Is that it?”

It danced around a moment then flew around her head before landing back on the porch railing and hopping back over toward the steps again.

Stormy eased out of her chair and began to walk toward the steps.

At her movement, the bird flew to the lowest branch of a nearby tree and turned to chirp at her.

Again, she followed.

This pattern continued until they were a good way from the house in a dense thicket of trees.

When they reached a small clearing teeming with dandelions, the bird landed on the ground and began to shake.

In a flash of light, Stormy suddenly found herself face-to-face with a handsome young man with short black hair, hazel green eyes, and skin that glowed like a god’s. He bowed to her and said, “Thank you for coming. We’ve been waiting for you to return for a long time now.”

She couldn’t move or speak. Her feet seemed to have been cemented in place and her mouth felt like it was full of glue.

He smiled, revealing perfect teeth, and asked, “Are you surprised? Really? Have you ever seen a true cardinal behave that way?”

Stormy shook her head.

“I need you to accompany me right now. We have no time left to lose. My mother asked that I bring you to her so she can explain what’s going on and how we are in great need of your help. Will you come with me?” He extended a hand.

Without thinking, she placed her hand in his and nodded.

“Eventually, you’re going to need to speak.” He grinned. “I’m Michael.”

“Hello.” She managed to squeak out the word but even to her it sounded lame. “I’m sorry. Hello, Michael, it’s nice to meet you.”

His grip on her hand tightened for a moment with a reassuring squeeze. “I’m the one who should be sorry. I imagine I gave you quite a fright when I changed.”

“No. You just surprised me is all. I’m difficult to scare.”

Michael’s face showed appreciation and he nodded.

“Where are we going?”

“To my home. You’ll see. It’s not far now.”

Stormy allowed herself to be dragged through the trees toward the pond. When they arrived, she took note of the now dying tree growing near the water, remembering how she used to play on its branches when she was a kid. To her surprise, he headed straight for it.

Once they got close, he released her hand and said, “Stay right here for a moment.”

She did as she was told and watched him walk over to the tree and wave his hand in front of the trunk, near the water. A gasp escaped her lips when the water rose to reveal an elegant set of stairs with a gold banister that led down into the ground.

Michael returned and offered his hand. “Shall we?” he asked.

Her head moved up and down of its own accord and she placed her hand in his, hoping he didn’t mind the perspiration. Despite her display of bravado, she was feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything she was seeing and her palms had begun to sweat.

When he didn’t seem to notice, she let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. With her heart hammering in her chest, she accompanied him down the golden stairs. As they descended, she could hear the water above rushing back into place. She was trapped.

As her feet moved forward, her eyes adjusted to the new light. It was a bit dimmer than above and had a more golden tone to it. She glanced down at her arms and noticed she looked more bronzed than she did before. Thinking it must do wonders for the skin, she wondered how often you’d have to be exposed to it to look like Michael. She felt the heat rise into her face.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

200th Post Giveaway!

Hello, good people of the blogosphere! This is my 200th blog post! Talk about exciting! My stats are off the charts and I have my followers, fans, and friends to thank.

As a HUGE thank you, I'm doing a giveaway of all my books. That's right, even Shelia, the third book in my Mystic series. It won't be published until December 21st (doomsday) so this is a unique contest. International!

Enter below and win something :) Information/synopsis/cover art can be seen here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Again, thank you all for visiting and being fans of my books and blog.


That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, November 12, 2012

199 NaNoWriMo

Holy crap! Tomorrow will be my 200th blog post! I also have 191 likes on my Facebook page. That's pretty close to 200, right? Today, I'm doing my check in for NaNoWriMo and tomorrow, well, I'm going to do a prize package for all you great followers/readers of my blog and books. What will I include? Come back tomorrow and find out. I know, I know, I'm evil. But ain't it grand? *evil laugh*

NaNo check in:
As of today, Monday 11/12/2012, at 8:30am, I've written 27,915 words. I don't write on weekends so I've managed this in six days. I'm astounded at the words flying from my fingertips. But maybe it's not so much that I write fast, maybe it's that I'm inspired.

I'm going to tell you all about the novel I'm working on. The working title is The Bird. Inspiration for this story came from a good friend of mine and previous guest, Sandi Tuttle. She's a blogger over at An Average Woman in a Superwoman World and a couple of her posts brought this book to mind.

Yes, I did ask her if I could base an entire novel off two of her posts and she said, "Go for it!"

Names have been changed and my weird imagination was let loose to further two things she spoke about: An old tree and a cardinal.

In my tale, the tree gets a shot of youth at the same time my MC's mother does. Without the tree, everything is destroyed: Mom, Trogon, and nature here on Earth.

But here's where an interesting twist comes in! I LOVE fairy tales. I've devoured them my whole life. I've read fairy tales from every country. I cannot get enough of them. My daughter has recently been exposed to this love of mine and, even though many princes, dwarfs, and things die, she has really embraced the general theme. I'm working that vast knowledge of fairy tale lore into my story. It's my first fantasy novel and I'm falling in love with writing it.

I'm a pantser. I started my novel with a vague idea of where it was going to go between my definite beginning and epic ending, a seriously bad dude as the villain, and a ton of possibility. Where it's taken me, I can't even begin to tell you. I love to write this way because the story comes to life. My characters are doing things I never planned for them to do. They've taken on lives of their own and are leading me through adventure, heartbreak, and magical kingdoms galore! But I'm not forcing their hands. I'm letting them lead me.

By being a pantser, I allow my imagination to run wild with every scenario you can imagine. I accidentally killed off a character I adored. Why? It was her time to go, I guess. I didn't ask, I just wrote it as it unfolded.

My MC is named Stormy Terrebonne. She's facing some wicked challenges (and wicked witches). A parallel tale is about her mother, Valletta. We get to see this woman go back in time and get a chance to start again. How fun is that? Stormy gets to be nearly immortal, her mother gets a new shot at life, and they both get to experience love like it was the first time.

I may give you all an excerpt sometime this week. Come on back and have a looksee. You may be surprised at what NaNoWriMo can do for a writer with a vague idea and a little motivation.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, November 9, 2012

Write on?

Hello, good people of the blogosphere! I bet you're all wondering what the heck is up with my signature tagline of WRITE ON! huh? It's time I set a few things straight. Join me for some laughs, epitaphs, and just good plain fun!

When I comment on other people's blogs, I leave my tagline of WRITE ON! rather than signing it Jo. Why? Well, the words mean so much more than keep writing. Because write and right are homophones (two words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings - check out this post for some common ones) I use that to my advantage.

In some cases, I mean RIGHT ON! In others, I mean WRITE ON! But why not just use one and let it be the representation of both as well as serving as a tagline? I'm sure you don't need to see my name to know a comment is from me because it's always ended the same way. If you see an anonymous comment elsewhere and it has the tagline, you know it's me without needing to dig further. Even if you miss my name at the bottom of my post, you know it's mine because I tell you to write on.

We are authors - or bloggers. We write. But sometimes, I agree with what you're saying on your blog and I'm trying to give you twofold encouragement with one simple phrase. When I agree, you're right, but I want you to write more tomorrow. Give me more. So, it serves as both an agreement and a call to action.

If you've been to my website, follow me on Twitter, or have checked out my Facebook page, you'll see I use the word write in the titles of all:, @WriteJoMichaels, I do this so when you find me, you know it's the right Jo Michaels AND that I'm a writer.

Now that's branding for ya.

Think about it. How can you brand yourself?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why Indies ROCK Blog Tour

Tamara's One Stop Indie Shop
Hello, people of the blogosphere! Welcome to the eighth stop on the Why Indies ROCK Blog Tour! To start us off, we've been given three specific topics to address. I hope you're enjoying your tour so far and are loving reading about rockin' Indie authors! Let's get going... 

Why I ROCK as an Indie author:
I give back. When I'm invited to an event for another Indie, I participate and push their books as hard as I push my own. I do a blog party now and then in celebration of great Indie authors. When asked to participate in a giveaway or other such thing, I always donate something to the cause to add value to their promotion. When I win a book via a giveaway, I do my best to read it and leave a review. After all, we want to expand our readership and gain a few fans and reviews by doing a giveaway, right?

When I saw this tour, I couldn't pass it up. It gives me a chance to name other awesome Indie authors and help out. I'm going to do my utmost not to include those on the tour (though I know many of them and they, too, ROCK) so you can get a broader spectrum.

I've also written seven books so far this year and have an eighth scheduled for release on 12/21/12. It's the third book in my Mystic series and is titled Shelia. Here's the cover and synopsis for you all.

After a horrible accident takes the lives of her parents, Shelia Morgan is placed in the care of her Aunt Ivy and Uncle Melvin. For six years they work her like a slave. On her twelfth birthday, Uncle Melvin makes Shelia an offer that will destroy her life.

When she turns 19, the ugly truth about her past comes out during a therapy session, Uncle Melvin is arrested, and she's placed in the sights of everyone in town. Hurling insults, objects, and threats, the townspeople side with her uncle and call Shelia a liar. She loses her job, her boyfriend, and her freedom in one day. When a girl named Markaza shows up and tells Shelia she's part of a group of young women destined to save the world, Shelia begins to dream of a new life and true freedom from her personal demons.

She tells the jury her story and boards a plane destined for New York and her new life. Once there, she meets Bronya and Lily: Two other young women with special powers they must learn to harness in order to fight an evil that will rise on December 21, 2012, and destroy the world.

Markaza boards a plane to Atlanta to save the life of a young lady named Melody before her mind destroys her from the inside out. As Markaza fights for Melody's life, Shelia, Lily, and Bronya throw themselves into their studies and learn that even power from within can get out of control.

You can pick up a copy of Bronya or Lily over on Amazon.

Now, before I answer the next question, enjoy a video!

On to the next prompt!
Other Indie authors that ROCK:
Tia Silverthorne Bach - You may remember her from my blog party (if you happened by) or you may have been over to her blog Depression Cookies and had a read. She rocks because she gives back to the Indie community however she can, is an active participant over on She Writes, and went through quite an ordeal to get her book published but never gave up.
Heather Topham Wood - Heather has never been a guest on my blog (I'm hoping one day she will be) but I see her help other Indies out by tweeting their books, giving reviews, and providing useful information about promotions she's done to get her books out there. Heather's Book Chatter is a blog I follow to find new Indie reads and she does a great job of giving us a boost.
Crystal Lee - I met Crystal via comments on another blog and we discovered we had a lot in common. It was a fast friendship from there. We trade editing services and promotional activities in an effort to help one another out. She's a great indie author and has written unique books I love to edit (because I get to read them, duh!). Check her out over on her blog Crystal Lee Author and tell her I said, "Hiya!"
Janiera Eldridge - I know I promised to try not to include anyone on this tour on my list, but Janiera is the exception to the rule, people. She rocks because she's always around to give a helping hand with a promotion for someone else or just a quick re-tweet or share telling folks how wonderful the book is and urging them to check it out. She also writes reviews when she wins a book and that's HUGE in my eyes.

Before I move to the third and last prompt, have a lookie at our schedule!

Now, for the last prompt
Screw you, negative people!
For all you naysayers who think Indies are uneducated wannabes, I'll have you know the vast majority of us are very intelligent. A whole bunch of us take care when writing our books and preparing them for public consumption. So you stumbled across one book that was poorly written? Don't give up on us as a whole! We write because we're storytellers with something to say. If you don't like us, keep it to yourself, please, and don't read our books! We're sick of hearing your mouth run with, "Blah, blah, blah!" We've heard it before. You're neither having an epiphany nor communicating profound intelligence to the world at large. However, if making yourself look bad is your game, go for it. We don't hear you! *sticks fingers in ears*

Take a moment and click the Thanksgiving MEGA Giveaway button over on the right-hand side there and enter the rafflecopter giveaway. We have some great prizes!

I do hope you all make a stop on the next blog on our tour tomorrow and enjoy the insights of Ms. Tammy-Louise Wilkins!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FTC Guide to Endorsements

Hello, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm gonna talk about something you may or may not know: FTC Guidelines when posting an endorsement or testimonial.

Did you know:
When you give someone a review, these guidelines say you're supposed to fully disclose your relationship and method of procurement of the product in question clearly?

Neither did I. Not until I was on Goodreads and checked out the link to the FTC guidelines.

If you were given a free copy of a book in exchange for a review, you're supposed to state that in your endorsement/testimonial.

I didn't see anything on the site that said you had to disclose that information when slamming something with a bad review, but I think it should be common courtesy either way.

This raises the following:
How many authors give their books to readers in exchange for a review and have had the review come back with negative tones, a bad rating, or anything else that's critical and not say where they got the reviewed material? Wouldn't it be safer to simply purchase the books and have it be a verified purchase review? Or to gift them?

I don't have an answer. Just food for thought today. If you're a reviewer, you might consider adding whether or not you were paid for the review in your copy.

Today's questions:
Did you know these guidelines existed? Have you ever paid for a review? Did your reviewer mention they were paid?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanksgiving MEGA Giveaway

Welcome to the Thanksgiving Mega Giveaway!! This giveaway was put together solely to say thank goodness for books and to celebrate them!

It was also put together to give back to readers and try to give as many people as possible some reading material for the holidays! There tons of ways to enter so everyone has a good chance of winning something. :)

A huge thank you to the authors who donated their awesome books  & swag and to the bloggers who also hosted and donated material!

Here are some simple rules to remember when entering.

  • paperback and swag will be mailed to the U.S. only
  • ecopies are international
  •  You get to pick your prize if you're one of the winners of the contest!! You will only have 24 hours to pick your prize and return your choice in an email or another winner will be chosen.
Good luck to everyone and enjoy the holidays!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Godaddy Promo Codes

Good morning, people of the blogosphere! You've heard me talk about getting a if you're an author and today I'm going to talk about one of the places you can register,, and some of the awesome promo codes available to you. So, buckle in and let's get going!

NaNoWriMo is upon us in its fifth day (oh my) and many of you will be producing your first novel. When I created my posts examining your web presence, I talked about the reason you need a website and how it should look similar to the other items in your online arsenal of presence. You might want to consider a website to promote that awesome novel you just wrote.

Godaddy is one of the places you can register a .com, .org, etc... There are promo codes you can use to save money on your domain registration. Promo codes = less cash out of your pocket to grow your online presence and get more attention.

As you can see from the promo codes listed below, you can register for $7.99. That's a pretty good deal. Registering my own domain cost me $14.95 per year.

Anyway, I urge you to check out these promo codes and get to registering This is actually a pretty good deal. You can use the links below to navigate. promo codes:

Register .Com domains for 7.99$

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Web Hosting from just $1.99 per month for 3 months! Plus, GoDaddy now offers unlimited bandwidth on all hosting plans!

These codes are valid every time. For more codes check

If you're already a proud Godaddy member, you can use these codes to renew:
Godaddy .Com domain renewal promo code
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You can also find Godaddy on Facebook and Twitter @godaddy

This is a sponsored post. All opinions remain mine. If you want to know more about following FTC guidelines when promoting a product or service, come on back Wednesday. I've found some useful information for you.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Ain't no Slang 'Round Here!

Hello, lovely people of the blogosphere!! Today I'm doing a fun post that gives definitions for common slang terms used by writers. I hope you enjoy it!

Pantser - To fly by the seat of one's pants when writing; not using an outline.
NaNoWriMo - A month of insanity where writers try to write as many words as possible; a novel in a month (the ultimate goal is 50k).
WIP - An acronym representing a writer's Work in Progress; a book that's in the process of being written.
FB - An acronym meaning Facebook; where writers spend too much time socializing and not enough time working on their WIP.
Concrit - When one reads a work and gives feedback; constructive criticism.
Flame - A bad review.
IC - Acronym for a writer who is In Character; frequently used for those who step into their character's shoes while writing in order to gain a better understanding.
OC - An acronym for the words Original Character; the original protagonist in a novel.
Pairing - Romantically connecting two characters; a love affair.
Sp? - Spelling assistance needed.
Toolbox - A list of things a writer needs to make it through a writing day, block, or launch.
SM - An acronym for Social Media.
TBR - Can be used for To Be Released or To Be Read; concerning books.
TBD - An acronym meaning To Be Determined; generally concerning release dates.
R&R - Read and Review.
Beta-reader - A person who tears a writer's plot apart, looking for holes; sometimes responsible for Flame.
Fanfic - Fiction based off a popular novel, generally not released as a book but posted in forums for fans.
Fluff - Filler often placed to up word count; commonly descriptions of worlds, clothing, or appearance.
Motor Oil - Coffee or other preferred drink to keep a writer awake and writing.

I hope you all got a kick out of this post.

Question of the day: How many of those did you know? Got any to add?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Static vs Dynamic

Happy day, good people of the blogosphere! Today I'd like to talk with you all about phenomenons called static elements and dynamic elements. Remember last week on lOOk at YoUr xXx when I talked about websites? This is the answer I promised you. Grab that pen and notebook you keep handy when you visit 'round here and let's get going, shall we?

Static elements are elements that don't change on your blog or website no matter what page you're on. Elements like navigation bars, background images, or indicator icons.

Why don't those elements change? Because if your navigation links jump all over the screen, it'll cause your reader a headache trying to keep up with where they are on your site and how they should return to the page they were on five clicks ago. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) your visitor every time. You have less than ten seconds to hook the average web surfer, make the most of it. Don't lose them after you catch their attention.

You want them to stay and browse around a bit, right?

Dynamic elements are those that do change page to page. These elements would be things like images, text, information, or navigation relevant to the topic.

Why do these elements change? Because each page of your website should desire to impart different information to your visitor.

For example:
I click on your button about your upcoming releases from your home page. The home page button, new release button, contact me button, buy my books button, and/or bio button don't move so I can visit a new page without back-browsing or hunting down the menu because it jumped to the bottom of the screen from the top. These are static elements.

On the bottom of your upcoming releases page, you may have a menu that appears for just that set of information. Book A, Book B, Book C, etc... These are dynamic elements. They won't appear on any other page but the ones nested under upcoming releases. They should, however, appear at the bottom of every page that talks about an upcoming release.

Each page within upcoming releases will have content. Either a blurb about the book, a release date, or a cover image. Dynamic elements.

Your background should be a static element. Don't have me looking at bunnies on the homepage and an axe murderer on the upcoming releases page. I'll probably leave thinking you're a schitzo and not buy your book.

Last, but not least, have a theme. If you write romance novels, your website should reflect that. I should get a sense of romance when I visit. If you write horror, be scary. If you write children's books, be fun and whimsical. You see my theme, it's just a balance of colors that don't instill fear. I write fiction: Historical, fantasy, paranormal, middle grade. If you visit my website, it looks like my blog. You know you've found the Write Jo Michaels.

Look here for theme examples: THEME EXAMPLES

I hope this helps some. Question of the day: Have you ever designed a website or blog? Have you found these elements giving you a headache?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!