Daddy on Halloween

“Where’s Daddy on Halloween?”

My little one asked through the screen

I put down my pumpkin and let out a sigh

Looking deeply into little doe eyes

How could I begin to tell her the truth?

Could she comprehend? Would she need proof?

I called over my girl—in her little black hat

Shortly in toe came a little black cat

Sitting she stared, wide eyed with wonder

As I stood still to ponder

“Daddy’s fine day is this Halloween Night

He’s waited all year to put on a fright

All day while you were at school

Your Daddy played music, much like a fool

Screeches and screams, moans and groans

Eerie echoes filled this home

And Daddy applied make-up of startling white

Outlining his eyes as dark as the night

Daddy donned a long black cloak

And covered his eyes in nothing but smoke

He put on a hat—so tall and black

He pushed out two teeth—sharp and sleek

Then Daddy sprouted two large wings

And flew off to where the fun begins”

My little girl chuckled, my little girl gasped

And out came two wings rather fast

Tossing her hat down by my side

She soared high and scoured the sky

My little sweet witch was no more

And now I hand out candy alone

My little black cat and I

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Author Corner – My Soul To Keep by Gracie Lea Silverwood

Welcome to my first Author Corner! I am very excited to spotlight other authors. First up is Gracie Lea Silverwood and her novel, My Soul To Keep.

My Soul To Keep  Cover

Below is an excerpt from Gracie’s powerful novel:

“As a young girl I remember sitting on my knees in front of the TV watching shows like “The Cosby Show” and “Who’s The Boss” and thinking this is what family should be, although now as an adult I realize most people don’t have lives like those families on sitcoms, however that was my childhood dream. It took me over thirty years to come to terms with the life I was dealt. It wasn’t your typical childhood; it was like living on a rollercoaster stuck on full speed, you never knew the exact moment you were going to crash and derail, but you knew the crash was unavoidable.”

You can find out more information about Gracie’s book by clicking this link: http://www.amazon.com/My-Soul-to-Keep-ebook/dp/B00FD7JC9U/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1382498146&sr=1-5&keywords=my+soul+to+keep

I want to thank Gracie for allowing me to showcase her emotional story. Want to be a featured author? Send me an e-mail (LauraBrownAuthor@gmail.com) and let me know!

Names and Titles

My least favorite part about writing is coming up with names for my characters. I struggle with finding the right names. It takes me a great deal of time. I have a collection of baby books at home that I have combed through countless times. Please note that I’ve had some of these books prior to having a child.

It doesn’t matter if I’m naming a fictional character or a real live person. I was in my third trimester before my husband and I could come up with a name for our son. We joked he would be born before we decided on a name. Fortunately for naming him all we had to consider was 1) we liked the name, 2) it worked with our last name. Done.

Fictional characters, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. Readers need to be able to pronounce the names. Readers also need to not be confused by characters with similar names.

Case in point, my first novel has a main character named Lila, and a minor character named Lisa. Or rather, my first novel has a character formerly known as Lisa. She is currently masquerading as Hope.

I’ve changed several characters in this fashion, realizing that I’ve overused certain alphabet letters to the point of abuse. Keep in mind this novel is over a decade old. I fear someone will mention the character Hope and my response will be “I have a character named Hope?”

Titles have turned into my other hardship. I tend to throw a title to a work early on, and then change it if another comes up. My first title for my first book was horrible, I won’t even admit it here. My second title was Project Torture. The problem being that the story is a lighthearted Women’s Fiction/Romance. Project Torture is a real phrase that is used in the novel and works, once you’ve read the story.

A title is used to attract a reader. Torture sounds… well… like torture. Therefore it was not the right title for my book. So, much like changing Lisa, I now struggled to come up with a new title.

To add insult to injury another novel, still working through the drafts, was said to have a title that didn’t work. Much like Project Torture the title was too dark. Apparently I need to be channeling my inner clown during title naming sessions.

Fear of Publication

Fear has been a topic of several of my posts, but I am coming back around to it this week. Because it has been gripping me skin deep. It’s all fine and dandy to say: “I’m going to publish a book!” It’s wonderful to see the finish line crawl closer.

But when you can stand there and SEE the finish line, the emotion turns into a “holy cow what the (insert explanative of your choice) am I doing? I can’t write a book. No one will like this. It’s crap, I can’t SHARE this!”

This is the land I am living in right now. Fear. I have been happily looking at the edits from my editor (I’m still a little giddy that I have an editor). But I realize that the novel is back in my hands. I am making those last few changes. The last person to look at this novel before publication will be me. What if I miss something? What if it still isn’t good enough? What if I should really be packing up my bags and hiding in a dark cave somewhere?

It’s quite possible this is my own personality quirk. Being afraid of reality. But reality is staring me in the face. Suddenly my confidence is gone.

Sharing with strangers isn’t the biggest fear right now. It’s sharing with people that know me. It’s sticking my neck out into the big wide world and screaming: “I wrote a book!” It’s the marketing. It’s the simple fact that I am saying this book is done.

If you have been reading my other blog posts you know I have been complaining for some time that I am done with this novel. Ready to ship her off into the world and focus my attention on something that hasn’t taken me over a decade to finish.

Like any mother it’s scary sending off your first-born. Is she ready to handle the scary world? Will she end up with the wrong crowd, drinking too much, doing drugs? I can’t protect her out there.

I can protect her on my laptop.

But I can’t share her this way. These next few weeks/months (no publication date set as of yet) will be a new learning curve for me. I will need to stare my fear in the face and rise above.

Until then I believe a trip to the store for something chocolaty is required. Any ideas what I should be baking?

A Positive Review—The Greatest Gift You Can Give An Author

I’m writing this now as an unpublished author. The reason being is that I’m not soliciting anything for myself, as I have nothing to be reviewed. Rather I’m soliciting reviews for my fellow indie authors. If you read a book and enjoy it, tell the world.

For the moment I am leaving out best selling, traditionally published authors. That is not to say they don’t deserve good reviews. They do. But the indie author doesn’t have a team supporting them. They don’t have the same access to accolades as a traditional best seller does. A best seller, but default of being a best seller, already has a fan following, and often times a decent amount of reviews from those fans.

The indie author has worked hard, against odds, to get his or her work to the public. Lots of sacrifice has been made. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears. They know that someone has read their work. Without a review they don’t know that someone has also enjoyed their work.

So take a few minutes and go to Amazon or Goodreads, or any place you see reviews, and put in a few words. I’ll admit that I’m not the best at giving reviews out myself, but if I read and like an indie book, I make sure to give that author something. I also tend to run to Facebook and other public forums to spread the news about a good author.

Negative reviews are fine as well, that’s how we learn and grow. I am certainly not saying that only good reviews need to be shared, as that is not the case. More I am encouraging you to lend a helpful review when the novel is right. And if you do leave a negative review, please make it a constructive one. There is far too much Internet bashing going on.

Another side to a good review: reviews bring in more readers. Besides giving an author a nice pat on the back, you are giving them something much better: a larger audience. Someone debating whether or not to try a book, and a new author, will read reviews. A good review, your review, just might cause someone else to try and enjoy that book.

Give something back to the indie authors, let us know you are reading, and enjoying, our work. It will light that fire under us and get us working on that next novel. Which hopefully you will enjoy just as much.