It’s never too late . . .

16 Sep

. . . to learn something new about yourself, right?

My mind has been spinning more than usual for the last few weeks. On August 6, I stumbled on an article about LeBron on ESPN.com.  This is hardly a rare occurrence, living as I do in Cleveland, but it was the content that really grabbed me. Here’s the link to the piece by Brian Windhorst.  http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11067098/lebron-james-greatest-weapon-brain​     I hope I won’t be shut down for quoting from this piece, as long as I provide the proper attribution, so y’all please keep your fingers crossed.

“‘When I was a kid my coaches started to say to me that I remembered things that happened in games from a few tournaments back — and that surprised them,” James says. “I started to realize how important that could be years later, probably when I was in high school. And then, eventually, I realized that it can get me into trouble.’

If there’s one thing that can be said about the study of the human brain — and especially the field of memory — it’s that even today, it’s notable less for what is known than for how much is not known. The workings of our head-sponges remain, for the most part, a mystery. But if there are areas of consensus in the field of neurology, one of them is that the notion of “photographic memory,” in which a person can take mental snapshots and recall every detail at a later time, has never been proved to exist.”

And these two isolated sentences from the same article:  (Those who have it)’They are as cursed by it as they are blessed by it. It’s hard, after all, to erase bad memories when you can’t erase any of them at all.’

 

I’ve always had a terrific memory – the exact address of every place I ever lived as a kid, plus phone numbers, etc. I’ve often joked about wishing I could erase some of the trivia in my brain to make room for important or up-to-date data. I had no idea that other people experienced the same thing! Duh. It was only about ten years ago that I learned there was a name for my uncanny memory of names, faces and numbers. I knew I’d been born with this ability: it was not because of anything I ever did to encourage it.

That magic name was Eidetic. Since then I’ve investigated it a bit, but then something else comes along and distracts me. One thing about mine (and it seems as though every person’s eidetic is at least somewhat different from everyone else’s eidetic) is that while I’m reading a manuscript or a book, and there are conflicting statements or data, I can fairly easily find both instances without searching the entire book. I’ll remember it being on the upper left page, or lower right page, for instance. Naturally, this doesn’t work so well with my own writing, but it’s dandy with everyone else’s! It makes me a great proof-reader, actually.

It also helped me find two plagiarists, as well. I knew I’d read that book previously, and sure enough over the next day, I was able to dig it out of my mental library and present the information to the original author. One of these was Phyllis Whitney, who sent me a very nice note of thanks.

Sandra Heath Wilson, my writer friend in England says:  “It’s like having a camera in your head, and from time to time the shutter clicks and something is imprinted there forever. Sometimes I’m aware of it happening, other times no. I get the feel, scent, moment-in-time sensation as well. I gets me in the pit of the stomach. Strange. I remember the written word as well, but it’s not consistent. Sometimes I do it constantly, and am accurate, other times I can’t think straight. The mood has a lot to do with it. If I’m  relaxed, I remember and ‘see’ the page. I’m always remembering things from a Regency book I used to have. I can see an illustration or paragraph, and know which book it was in, and where it was on the page. Sometimes I can even make out a remembered index, but I wouldn’t like my life to depend upon it.  Actually, I think this sort of thing is a prerequisite for writers. I goes with the sort of brain that can invent stories and get them down in the written word. Imagination, a wild memory for odd things, and the ability to conjure things in the mind. To ‘see’ your characters and move them around.”

I’ve finally figured out why I’ve always excelled at tests, as I have! It’s the memory, which allows me to be a whiz-bang at trivia games, and to almost always find things I’ve temporarily mis-placed. On the whole, I guess I’m glad to have it, but it can definitely present problems. I found this web-site to be a fabulous read on the topic. http://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-have-a-photographic-eidetic-memory   I can agree with each of these folks. Not that mine is just like any of theirs, but for sure, I have the embedded GPS capability, and the ‘hard-headed know-it-all’ part, as well. It IS hard to maintain relationships, because the other person NEVER understands!

Strange, eh? So, what’s your story?

I confess . I am a . . .

2 Sep

I LOVE research. There. I said it and I’m glad! I am a researchaholic, big-time. I’ve always loved libraries and books and history, and when they all come together – well!

At some point in the 1970s, I fell in love with the Plantagenet era in England. You know, the one that ended sadly with the death of Richard III at Bosworth. The next dynasty was Tudor. But the Plantagenets were a long-lived dynasty having been created by the Treaty of Winchester in 1154 that ended twenty years of civil war. Henry II was the first of these kings and their dynasty stretched  over 331 years, containing four distinct royal houses: Angevins, Plantagenet, Lancaster and York.

I read everything available to me at that time (this was long before computers and digitization, I would remind you) and became totally enraptured by the wife of Henry V – Catherine of Valois, the ruling family of France. It was expedient for him to marry her, as he considered himself the conqueror of France (Agincourt 1415) and thus it’s King as well as England’s. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be happy with that, he had to keep fighting, and consequently lost his life at an early age (1422), leaving a very young widow and an infant son.

It seemed to me that Catherine was virtually ignored by everyone. She was accorded all the status of a footnote, which really bugged me. After all, she was the daughter of a King, the wife of a King, and the mother of a King. How could this be?

Well, of course, her father, Charles VI, was known as the Mad King, but if you read his backstory, it seems reasonable to think he was derailed by the terribly tragic fire, accidental in nature, but which killed most of his friends. He did have periods of lucidity afterwards, but they alternated all too often with periods of (perhaps) insanity. But then, her mother was no prize, either. Isabeau of Bavaria was reported to be the most beautiful woman in the world, and she expected to be treated as such. It didn’t always work out that way, however, and while she had a bunch of children, she would never be considered as acting ‘maternal’ towards any of them, especially the later ones, of which Catherine was the next to last.

And then, there is Catherine’s son Henry VI, who was also known to have periods of insanity. But then, how many 9-year-olds could handle being forced to watch Joan of Arc being burned at the stake? Surely, that would be enough to hinder most people, especially a sensitive young boy. Of course, by that time, young Henry had been in the care of his uncles for seven years. They had forcibly removed him from his mother, saying a mere woman was not capable of raising a king. Of course.

So, I decided to write a book about Catherine, who did eventually find happiness with Owen Tudor, a Welsh archer in the train of Henry V. (Or so I firmly believe.) But a funny thing happened on the way to the writing. I fell in love with theater, and so all my research went into a one-woman play. It’s never been produced, but it came close once. The timing was just not right, and truth be told, I’ve not really pushed it anywhere, either. I still have it, though, and every now and then I go back to it and am amazed by the depth of the research. It covers her life from the age of six (1401) to her death in 1437.

One of the books I read mentioned her will as being part of a famous collection of ancient manuscripts. I had no idea! It never dawned on me that such things had ever been collected. But, yes they were. This particular volume was part of the Cotton Manuscripts. You can find out more about them here:  http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/manuscripts/cottonmss/cottonmss.html

What I found most interesting was his way of cataloguing these treasures: he named his volumes after people from history. The volume I wanted especially was the Cleopatra volume.

To be sure, this was all most interesting, but then – THEN!!! I discovered that our library in Cleveland (one of the best in the world, actually, a well-kept secret, apparently) had a copy of the volume that included her will! It was listed here: http://www.cpl.org/TheLibrary/SubjectsCollections/SpecialCollections.aspx

Needless to say, I promptly took myself downtown to the main branch where this collection is housed. What a wonderful voyage of discovery that proved to be! Wow. It was in the John White Collection, located on the third floor. One has to knock on the locked door for admittance, and surrender your driver’s license along with the library card and once in, they give you a pair of inexpensive white gloves to wear while touching ANYthing in there. (I admit that I’ve not been there in several years, and the rules may be different now. Or not.)

If you see a book on the shelf that you want to investigate, you do NOT touch it. Not even with gloved hands. No! You find a page and show him or her the book, and they will remove it from the shelf and bring it to your table. You’re allowed to turn the pages, but not lift it or do anything else with it. Don’t even ask to photocopy anything. Not usually possible, but on rare occasions, an exception may be made, depending on the volume you wished to have copied. For a charge, they used to do microfilming, as well. But it was not as immediate as a photocopy.

If the book you want is NOT on display but is listed as being part of the collection, you fill out a request slip and give it to the page, then go back to your chair and wait. Eventually, it’ll get to you. Same rules as before, and it’s firmly requested that no tears (the watery kind) are accidentally allowed to splat on a page.

What I wanted to see was Catherine’s will, and so I did. It ranks as one of the highlights of my life. But almost as important to me, THIS particular volume had been in the personal collection of the Prince Regent, (who later became King George IV) and he had actually affixed his signature and other important information on the inside front page! With tissue firmly clenched in my left hand (to catch any stray tears) I gently ran my gloved, right index finger over his sprawling signature.  WOW. What a major thrill. I’ll never – EVER – forget it, to be sure.

Books are wonderful, aren’t they? I couldn’t live without them. I wouldn’t even want to.

 

Around the World in 80 seconds, give or take a few . . .

19 Aug

No, not in real time, that’s for sure. But I’ve noticed that a lot of folks are not aware of the world-wide presence of Amazon. Even more so, for Kindle. So, here we have a ‘show-and-tell’ glimpse at the global reach.  There are currently eleven other Amazon sites around the world. (China is temporarily not available, but all the others are.)  For instance, here’s a screen shot of the US page for my newest novella. (Might as well pitch myself, right?)  Kindle books that are available to US readers living in the US are not available to us from the UK site. Actually, I’m not sure that a US resident ordering from the US can purchase from any of the international sites, and that’s not the purpose of this post. It’s only to demonstrate the fun of seeing one’s book being available to readers all around the globe!

(Apology because these didn’t all cooperate like I wanted them to. They moved around to suit themselves! However, if you click on any of the pix, they will enlarge. I hope that helps!)

 

1 Bella - US The UK page is not very much different, although we are one people separated by two languages. Or however that goes.

2 Bella-UK

The fun starts really, when you take the chunnel over to France.

3 Bella-France

Or Germany

4 Bella-DE

Or Italy

5 bella-Italy

Or Spain

6 Bella -spain

But  suppose you want to go in the other direction:  Here’s Japan

7 Bella - Japan

Here’s India

8 Bella - India

And here’s Australia

9 Bella-Australia

Or go north to Canada, another great country with fewer language difficulties, as a rule.

10 Bella-Canada

Or south, to Mexico:

11 Bella-Mexico

And finally, our last stop  — Brazil

12 Bella-Brazil

There now! Wasn’t that an easy trip?  Thought so! In spite of the confusion, I hope you enjoyed my little travelogue! Now you should aim for the day when your books are so readily available world-wide!

Comments?  Questions?  Write to me at bookmechanicATgmail.com

There’s Publishing, etc.,  —  Part Two 

6 Aug

A few months back, I promised a discussion of e-books, and then (as usual) was side-tracked by more enticing topics. Or something. So I’ll try to catch up with myself here and see where it goes.

E-books, meant to be read on an electric or electronic device of some kind, have been around for more than 35 years, believe it or not! True. But, they were not terribly workable, plus being slightly clumsy. Greater progress has been made in the last 15 or so years, however. I still have some I bought that were on a 3½ floppy or CD. For the most part these were prepared in HTML, and were not at all compatible with trying to print them out on paper. I’ve never read most of those older works, because trying to print them out was such a difficult thing to do that I just gave up. I did, however, actually buy them, so the author did get something out of it all.

There have been several devices made for this purpose, most of which are now part of history. Rocket Reader and Sony (several models) were the major producers in the mid-late 1990s, and then MicroSoft created a reader as part of Windows. At that time, we were still reading on our computers, however, and let me tell you, it’s really hard to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a monitor and keyboard on your lap! Laptops of that era were not much better, either! (Nothing at all like the little tablet-gizmos of today. Really!)

In 1998, Amazon along with Barnes & Noble, began to sell e-books, but the first Kindle didn’t come along until 2005. NOOK followed in 2009, and the iPad in 2010. That did it! Soon there were all sorts of devices available for reading books, but of course, to put a big crimp in the competition, they always had to be in their own individual and very proprietary formats. One device could not speak to another. Oh, no! Google put the kibosh on that notion, with their Android OS and devices, and this has now become probably the biggest seller. Or if it isn’t Android, it’s iTunes.

And – they keep getting smaller all the time. I cannot imagine reading a book on my phone! I can’t even picture reading a way shorter ‘article’ that way. What will happen, I wonder, 40 years from now when all these 30-somethings will have to resort to the old ‘coke-bottle’ type (thick, in other words) lenses in their glasses or contacts? Of course by that time, they’ll probably have a port built into the skull somewhere in which an e-book can be downloaded into one’s head, without bothering to go through a device first!  I have to say I’m happy I won’t live that long. I don’t really want to know!

Of course, in the meantime, the MP3 format revolutionized the music industry. And guess what? It works for e-books, too! Much easier and way more convenient than the old cassette or newer CD versions of audio books. And of course, between Amazon and iTunes, there’s a sizeable market, not to mention AudioBooks.com. You can easily carry your entire library around in one small memory card or stick!

I think it behooves any author to at least consider this latter medium. I know I’m going to. I have years of reading/taping experience for the Cleveland Sight Center, and one of the books I taped for the Library of Congress Talking Books is still in their catalog nearly 20 years later. I was thrilled to make this discovery earlier this year. (Of course it doesn’t hinder the longevity that the novel is  by Nora Roberts!) I may not make it for any of my Regency Christmas novellas this year, but without a doubt I will do it during 2015.

I’ve just added a new novella for this year (Bella’s Legacy) at Kindle, and with a little bit of luck Francie’s Feast will be available before the end of August. (More about them next month, but in the meantime, here’s Bella’s cover!)   

bella cover-2

As always, if you have questions or comments please do write to me: bookmechanicATgmail.com

 

 

What’s in a name?

23 Jul

I am not a sexist, although I’ve been a victim of it too many times in my life to be able to entirely overlook it, but there’s a reason why so many excellent women have taken men’s names in order to be published. Even today, there is  J. K. Rowling, a name that is totally androgynous, and not easily identifiable as either sex. It also, of course, depends on what you’re writing. Again, a woman faces an enormous amount of criticism if she wants to write hard-boiled crime novels or really explicit erotica. If she happens to live in a small town, where everyone knows her and her family, she might be very wise to use a pen-name.

Just this week, here in Cleveland, an author who calls herself D.M. Pulley won the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for her mystery, The Dead Key.  The author, an engineer and 38-year-old mother of two young children decided to remain anonymous to protect her family’s privacy. However, full-face photos of her have appeared in the newspaper, and I’m sure her family and friends know who she is, but I’m not sure anyone else really does. I’m also not sure anyone else really needs to!

When Secret Shores (my first book) was published in 1993, I thought it very sexy, but no one else thought so. I was asked, more than once “is this THAT kind of book?” nudge, nudge, wink, wink! And I had to say yes, because there were love scenes in it. But the h/h weren’t promiscuous, and were in love with each other. All the reviews called it a ‘sweet’ novel, which was the kiss of death, because it wasn’t sexy enough! And furthermore, there was a lot of history in it! Duh. It’s a ‘historical romance’. Same thing with Windsong.

At that time, in Romance Writers of America (to which I then belonged) the feeling was that if one wrote different kinds of romance novels, then perhaps a different name was in order. The idea being that a reader who likes one particular kind of book over all others, will go for the author’s name, and if it’s a totally different kind, and upsets the reader, it is always the author’s fault. So, when I sent out my Regency novel Bertie’s Golden Treasure to publishers in 2006, I created the pen name of Hetty St. James, which sounded British to me. I kept it entirely secret (only my publisher and a couple of friends knew the truth) until last year, when I finally ‘confessed’ on this blog.

A man wouldn’t usually face this kind of nonsense, although there was a man in RWA at that time, whose name was Harold something or other. He wrote wonderful romance novels, usually western-based, or southern. His pen name was the ambiguous Leigh Greenwood. If you didn’t know before reading any of his books that the author was male, nothing in the book would give you that notion, either. I know several other men who have written romances, using a pen name. I don’t blame them one bit, either. It’s very difficult to change the mind of the public.

If you intend to write in vastly different (from each other) genres, then maybe. Or there might be some other reason why a pen name might be useful. My current name is a great one for an author, I think. There are very few people in the world with my last name, thanks to my late husband’s forbears who came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s, and who didn’t speak English. Your name, on the other hand is probably not Ty Drago, for instance, which is another one of a kind. You might perhaps use at least a middle initial, or maybe put a y in the middle of James – to then be Jaymes.

One last thought. An editor friend read my first book before I submitted it. I had my name in the header as Ferjutz, Kelly and he really climbed all over me for it. “THAT is not your name!” he bellowed. (He was really good at that!) “That’s not how people speak to you! Your name is Kelly Ferjutz, and that’s the way it should always appear on any paperwork connected to your career. That’s your BRAND!” I decided he was right, and have never done it any other way since then.

After all, a rose by any other name still smells as sweet!

Comments or questions appreciated – write to me at bookmechanicATgmail.com

Promotion possibilities — and how to mess up big-time!

8 Jul

I confess, I did just that last weekend. I can’t imagine where my brain was to have allowed such a monumental boo-boo! I’ve certainly known better for the last 25 years!

What did I do? I participated in a grand (50 plus authors!)Local Author Festival, and other than the books themselves that were there because of the bookstore manager, I was totally unprepared. Eeegads. I still can’t believe I really did such a dumb thing.

Of course, when I started in this business, in 1989, there were lots of local-type bookstores. Independents (as the above-referenced one was) but also branches of national chains. At that time, those stores loved to have book-signings, by local as well as nationally-known authors. It was a big deal to have people come to a bookstore to see the author and hopefully buy a personally-autographed copy. Generally speaking, one could have every Saturday for three months spent in a different area book-store. And I’m not referring to New York or Los Angeles, either. No, I’ve lived in Cleveland for 50+ years, and this is where I had lots of book-signings in 1993 and 94.

The situation is much different now – there aren’t so many indie-stores, and even fewer national chains that might be inclined to host such an event.

How I messed up was in not having any promotional material to hand out! I did at least have my business cards, and I did give out quite a few. And, a few copies of my books were sold. But still . . . there’s just no excuse for this lack on my part.

My first book came out in May, 1993, but it was the weekend of Thanksgiving six months earlier which brought me copies of my cover. For a romance author, there’s nothing better than having a cover to work with – for stickers or bookmarks or any other hand-out materials. Color copiers were brand new in the self-serve copy centers of the time, and I had planned on making some smaller copies to put on book marks and post cards that I would make for myself. (Once on a shoe-string budget, always on a shoe-string, it seems. Nothing much has changed in that part of my life.)

However, on my way to the copy shop, I made a quick stop at the camera store to pick up the photos for which I’d previously dropped off the film. (That’s certainly different these days, too!) Anyway, while waiting at the counter, I noticed a SALE basket of goodies, with, among other things, packets of adhesive-backed magnet stock – the kind to which you’d affix a business card or photo. Something clicked in my head, and I promptly bought all they had.

From there, I went to the copy shop and made hundreds of greatly-reduced-in-size copies of the front cover. (I’m probably the only person anywhere who didn’t like that cover, but that’s okay.) Then it was home again, and I spent the weekend cutting the little cover pix apart, and affixing them to the magnet stock. I think the entirety was 4” x 6” which made for four decent-sized magnets per sheet. I had already created the bookmark design, so I printed them in the colors used in the cover art.

I then mailed out a letter with 15 bookmarks and a magnet to some 400 carefully chosen bookstores and a few libraries. To the best of my knowledge I was the first romance author to make these magnets. Did they work? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that during the following years – until the bookstore world changed so drastically – I would see my magnet in bookstores in the area. And in fact, several friends still have them on their refrigerator – after 25 years! I think that’s awesome!

I won’t ever be so unprepared again, I can promise you that. And if you’re an author, please learn from my ineptness. Make bookmarks or postcards or something that you can hand out to anyone who even glances at your table or desk space.

In fact, the co-author of my most recent book – An Intensive Care Guide For the Family – suggested a brilliant idea, which he will implement – acquiring a QR code which when scanned will take the holder directly to an e-store, and thus make the purchase even easier! In fact, you could do the e-book on one side and the print book on the other. Whoda thought of that – 25 years ago? We barely knew anything about the internet back then. WOW!!! We’ve come a long way, baby!

But now, there’s almost no end to promotional ideas: I’ve seen pens and pencils, erasers, decks of cards (this works best for very prolific authors!), pre-paid phone or other gift cards, charms for bracelets, stickers for envelopes (remember them?) and even – digital memory sticks! Take a look around your world and see what might be a good match for you and/or your book(s)! The sky’s the limit!

If you have a really great promo idea that you’re willing to share, please tell us about it? Write to me at bookmechanicATgmail.com Thanks!

Image

My first ever guest author speaks!

25 Jun

One of my very best friends – ever!! – lives in England, from where she has crafted an enviable career as an author. Because she loves happy endings, her books have mostly been in the romance genre, specifically set during the English Regency period. She had become virtually a walking encyclopedia of all things Regency, and has been of enormous help to me as I struggle to produce a novella in the time it used to take her to craft a scintillating and sparkling full-length novel!  Recently, she has turned her attention to the Medieval years of 1480-1500 or thereabouts.

Someone else (not me, this time!) asked her for some helpful hints about writing, and she sent them on to me, as well. “Oh, joy!” I cried, a guest author for my blog! The first ever. Somehow that seems quite fitting, because I believe her to be a fabulous writer, and who better to share her wisdom with us than the multi-published SANDRA HEATH WILSON!!!  Here are her eleven commandments.

(1)    Always keep your story within its setting – if it is to be in the past, then choose your words accordingly. Modern anachronisms soon have a reader laughing instead of taking it seriously. Inappropriate speech will soon cause the reader to give up on it. For instance, someone from the Jacobean period would not use gangsta rap, and a Norman warlord would not take out his pocket watch and say, “Good lord, is that the time? Must fly. Byeee”. An agent of mine once told me that a manuscript was submitted to him that had Joseph, Christ’s earthly father, ploughing a field in the heat and taking out a red-and-white spotted handkerchief to mop his brow. A red-and-white spotted handkerchief? Really? The manuscript was not accepted, even by the agent, let alone a publisher. People of the past did not speak, behave, think as we do now. It is important to always bear this in mind.

(2)    Punctuation, grammar, spelling – all must be synchronised and correct. No jumping from tense to tense, and always use the same quotes for conversation, not curly or straight as you feel like it. Be consistent in everything. (Except being dull!)

(3)     Break your story into reasonable paragraphs. NEVER have long paragraphs that become difficult to read because the place can be lost by the eye. The eye will pick up again more easily with smaller paragraphs. L-O-N-G paragraphs = BORING. A whole page taken up by one paragraph is likely to be skipped in its entirety.

(4)    If you are writing non-fiction, the same rules apply regarding consistency, punctuation, paragraphs, etc. Never preach, but set out your case in an agreeable, reasoned way. If the subject matter is contentious, don’t make it worse by stating your view aggressively, as if you are right and everyone else is wrong. If the subject can be written about in an inviting and engaging way, do so. Brownie points are gained by being eminently readable. Plod along, and you won’t be particularly liked as a writer. Nor will your reasoning/arguments be as well absorbed.

(5)    In fiction, unless you intend your characters to be unpleasant, which doesn’t happen that often, always be sure to keep the reader on their side. It’s no good creating people for whom no one gives a tinker’s.

(6)    Describe your characters, fix them in the reader’s mind. Just giving names or writing he/she isn’t good enough. You want your readers to see what you see, so make sure they do.

(7)    To go back to setting, make sure you give at least a sensible inkling of where they all are. If it’s Greece, describe Greece. If it’s New York, make sure the look/feel of NY is almost tangible to your reader. The same with time of day, weather, seasons, and so on. One of the things my readers like about my books is that I obey the above rules. They like description and scene-setting, but don’t go on for page after page. Pick out salient details that will create a picture in the reader’s mind.

(8)    Remember to move your characters around with some sort of continuity. If someone has just been seated, don’t have them take a seat again a few sentences later. In your mind’s eye you are seeing it all as if it’s a film, so no bloopers, please, about who is doing what, to whom, where or when. What you see and feel, your reader must see and feel, too.

(9)    Keep the action flowing. No doldrums. You don’t want your reader nodding off because they—and you—have lost the plot. So – definitely do not be tedious. Don’t be tempted to dwell on something that is really immaterial to the plot or general story. Ask yourself, if I take all this out, will it make any different to the flow of the plot? If the answer is no, then ditch it. Keep finely focused on your story.

(10)    If writing anything historical, include some known background, but don’t go into too much detail. Fewer people these days know a great deal of our history, and their interest will only be held by just enough information—too much and they’re nodding off again. They want to open the pages and ‘see’ a rattling good costume drama, not the Close Rolls of the reign of Henry VIII. So entertain them, be a story-teller, not a historian. You want them to enjoy your writing and share your enthusiasm.

(11)    Respect your reader. It is no good if you think you are writing for fools. Being a writer does not make you superior. You need readers, but they might soon not need you. Never forget that.

Sandra’s newest book is the first of a trilogy about Cicely Plantagenet, second daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville.  Richard III is also a major character – thus the title of the book is Cicely’s King Richard. It is available now from Amazon.co.uk, and will soon be available in the US. It is a ravishing story that will not let you put it down, once you’ve begun to read it.

Thank you for this very helpful treatise, my friend!

Thank YOU for reading, and as always, if you have questions or comments, please write to me at: bookmechanicATgmail.com

 

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