Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fly Like an Eagle?

I saw many eagles while I was on vacation in Wisconsin. They're graceful birds, but also puzzling.

While I walked Rascal one day, I noticed an eagle being chased by a smaller bird. You'd think the eagle, being so much bigger, would have turned on the smaller bird and attacked it. Instead, it put up with the harassment.

The incident reminds me of what's happening now in the publishing world. The smaller birds, i.e., indie publishers and small publishers, are chasing the eagles, i.e., traditional publishers.

The smaller birds are gaining. The big birds are only starting to realize they are threatened. For the most part, they're still going about their usual business, as if no threat is involved. Maybe they don't think there is one.  Or, maybe they can't find a way to get rid of the pesky little birds, the ones they thought wasn't so important but really are.

And what about the authors published by the traditional publishers? Some are having second thoughts about going the same route as before. They're not sure if flying like an eagle is the best choice.

I'm one of the small birds right now, but each author needs to decide what's the best flight path. The great thing about this whole phenomenon is there is a choice.

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the Road Again by Morgan Mandel

Good Paul wasn't so successful last time in the fishing department, so we're off again to Wisconsin so he can try again!

Here are a few pics from last time:

My friend, Jeanne's backyard deer.

Rascal sunning herself on a good day.The tee shirt is so she won't get sunburnt.

The frog pond

The Lake

I'll have more for you from the next trip!

Morgan Mandel At the Mexican Restaurant - We'll probably go back there.
Great food and Great prices!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mona Risk, Contemporary Romance Author, Shares Editing Tips

Mona Risk
I'm very happy to welcome my guest and Internet friend, Mona Risk, today.
Mona never thought chemistry would lead her to publishing romance novels! Her Ph.D. in Chemistry trained her to prepare medicinal products, allowed her to analyze water and soil samples, and landed her contracts to refurbish laboratories in foreign countries. As a director of an analytical laboratory, she traveled to more than fifty countries on business or vacation. To relax from her hectic schedule, she avidly read romance novels and mentally plotted her own books. Eventually she left a successful scientific career to dedicate herself to her passion and share the many stories brewing in her head. Mona likes to set stories in the fascinating places she visited and throw conflict at her heroes and heroines.

"Mona Risk writes heroes with heart, heroines with spunk in stories and settings that are simply unforgettable!" -- Roxanne St. Claire, Killer Curves, National Bestseller.

You can reach Mona at
http://www.monarisk.com/  and

Mona says, "If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat."

Her current release is Rx IN RUSSIAN. Here's a little bit about it -

Fyodor Vassilov is a Russian widower, surgeon and officer. Duty demands he provide a mother to his four little boys and marry a woman who loves children and a big family.
Jillian Burton is an American pediatrician on a mission to improve medical conditions in Belarus. She blames herself and her ex-husband for their son’s death, and has lost her illusions about men and marriage. When they work together for six months in his hospital, their fascination with one another shocks them both. Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?
For more, see http://tinyurl.com/3ulvcxp

AND NOW - Mona has some great tips today she'd like to share with you about editing
Edit your Manuscript
By Mona Risk

Someone said that creating a good book is ten percent writing and ninety-percent editing. Although I believe this statistics to be exaggerated, I certainly spend a lot of time polishing my manuscripts before sending them off to an editor.

For me, editing starts while I am writing. As soon as I type my first chapter, I read it again and again, first to check the story flows well, then for typos, spelling and grammar and finally to make sure that the hook is grabbing enough. By hook I mean, the first line, the first paragraph and the first page. These should be intriguing enough to catch a reader’s—or editor’s—interest. As a result, I keep revising the first line and first paragraph while I continue to write my story. By the time the book is finished, I have at least twenty versions of first paragraphs, all saved. I compare them, send them to my critique partners, and sometimes combine some of them, until I am satisfied with my hook.

While revising my first book for ever—more precisely for three years— I realized that an outline could save a lot of time. Now before starting a new story, I do my homework: an outline for the first three chapters, a summary of the back story, a few lines about the hero, heroine and villain’s characters and one paragraph to summarize the storyline. Only then, do I allow myself to start typing the actual story.

By the time my partial is polished, I am well acquainted with my characters and I have a pretty good idea of where the plot is going.

An outline for the whole book completes my preparations and helps my story to flow. Now I can write without interruption for days and weeks.

To edit the whole book, I tabulate the chapters and scenes, and then check the following items.

Setting: avoid having several scenes in the same setting. It’s boring.

POV: Heroine’s or hero’s. If you have a long book you can add, the villain’s POV.

Hook: strong enough to grab the reader.

GMC: what is the goal in that scene, what is the conflict?

Emotional development: show how the Hero/heroine’s attraction to each other escalates and their romance progresses. You should see a definite increase of tension and emotion from scene to scene.

Action: it’s important to show some stage direction.

Sensual Tension: any eye contact, hand touching, kiss,… Like the emotional development, the sexual tension should increase from chapter to chapter.

Sensorial: smell, sounds and color in the scene. It helps the reader be grounded in the scene.

End hook: Make sure it generates suspense, a question to be answered in the next scene or some emotion that keeps the reader panting.

Pace: how do you evaluate the pace in this scene, fast, medium slow? It should be fast if you have action or dialogue, and slow to emphasize emotion.

In addition to self-editing, I can’t stress enough the importance of sharing your work with critique partners.

You manuscript is ready to go. You need one last reading. I suggest you save the file in Adobe, click on VIEW, and then READ OUT LOUD. It’s an amazing feature I discovered a few years ago. The computer will read your story while you look at the pages on the monitor screen and note on a paper the repetitions, missing words, lack of transition. I prefer this method to printing and reading on paper. But you need one these two methods of final reading to catch the mistakes your eyes have stopped seeing on the screen.

Babies in the Bargain

Rx for Trust

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.

Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.      

Mona’s books are all available at amazon.com

Mona's website: http://www.monarisk.com/
Mona's blogspot: http://www.monarisk.blogspot.com/

Please leave a comment below to welcome Mona.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I Have A Cover for My Almost Done Book, Forever Young-Blessing or Curse!

 I now have a bright new beautiful cover for my almost done paranormal thriller, Forever Young - Blessing or Curse.

Thank you, Stephen Walker, of S.R. Designs at http://www.srwalkerdesigns.com/ for doing such a great job!
Stephen was very patient, easy to work with, and open to suggestions.

Now that I have my cover and my editor, I better finish my initial edits and get the ball rolling!

For more details about Forever Young - Blessing or Curse, come on over to http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel