Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Angi Black”

Getting Inside The Story

Today’s brew: All the water. It will all make sense in a minute.

by Kristen

(Just a piece of business before I get down to business…Because the Night is now available on Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a subscriber, you can read it for free! Do this thing.)

Write what you know. It’s a great place to start.  We have enough to worry about when we start writing without bogging ourselves down with research. Pushing a plot forward with three dimensional characters is hard work, yo. Not to mention, once you get those characters all snuggled in, you have to throw a stick of dynamite into the works and make them put their lives back together. And live happily ever after, if you’re a romance writer.

I pulled from every single place I had. Las Vegas, going to eight million concerts, working in the entertainment industry…Secondhand Heart is set in my hometown of Plymouth, and I had a lot of fun making the town a character in the book. God knows we’ve got some quirks around here. In Silent Night, I laid it all out bare. That book is really about when I lost my mom, and there’s a lot more truth in that one than fiction. Even though it was therapeutic to write the story, it’s terrifying to offer something that will always be raw and painful to the world.

Eventually, we tap the well dry. I write a lot of books. Having to set stories in places I’m not familiar with, or give the characters jobs and interests I know nothing about, is more intimidating that I expected it to be. I might not be familiar with something, but my readers might know a lot about that subject. If I don’t get it right, people are going to call bullshit in a hurry.

The internet makes research easy. Kinda. Sort of. Not really. Anyone can put a website. I mean, they let me and Julie run this blog. They’ll really let anyone on the interwebs. You have to make sure you’re looking at credible information.  Wikipedia is a total crap shoot. I watched a video today, and then scrolled down to the comments where people ALL CAPPED that the technique demonstrated was extremely dangerous.  I’ve watched makeup videos where people use latex paint on people’s faces. (This can kill someone.) You still have to vet your resources, and make sure your information is spot on.

A story I completed recently was set in New Orleans. I’ve been to the city a couple times, and I have two great and beautiful resources named Angi Black and Sarah Guillory to help me with local flavor.  They made me feel a lot more comfortable writing from a remote location.  But the manuscript I’m currently working on is set in the Colorado mountains.

I’ve never been to Colorado. I’m not sure if Angi or Sarah have, either.

I love being outside, but I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorswoman. I have leopard print sneakers and do zumba, for crying out loud.

How the hell was I going to convey how it felt to be chased through a wooded mountainside?

Clearly, I had to climb a mountain.

Yesterday, I drove to the Blue Hills ski area. There’s no skiing this time of year, but plenty of hiking. Before you point and snicker at my loose interpretation of a mountain, it’s the best I could for a morning hike. I chose the red dot trail, basically because I parked near it. I didn’t bother to check if it was the most difficult trail until I got back to the parking lot (it was). But I climbed that bitch, all three quarters of a mile up to the top. It was exciting, terrifying, rocky as fuck, and exhausting.  I learned so many things about a mountain that I would have never figured out looking at a computer screen.  And, I liked it, so I might go back and climb that bitch again. Or find another bitch that needs climbing. (TWSS)

Uphill, both ways, over a rock. For real.

Uphill, both ways, over a rock. For real.

Now I’ve decided these characters rock climb. Wish me luck.

 

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Cover Reveal: DRAWN TO YOU by Angi Black

Today’s Brew: Blueberry Bliss

by Kristen

Angi Black is awesome for many reasons, but there’s one that I can lay claim to that only one other person can: she was my roommate at RT. Angi lived in Louisana, and I couldn’t ask for a better tour guide for my trip to New Orleans!  Although, now every time I think of her, I think of those bourbon milk shakes we had as soon as we got to the city. Sigh.

Enough about me and booze. Angi’s got a book coming out.  Today we reveal the cover.

Drawn To You Ebook Cover (1)

College life is a breath of fresh air for 20 year old Ellie Baylor, a painfully shy but beautiful art major. She has her canvas and charcoal and that’s more than enough. Her choice to go to school far from home and the watchful eye of her strict parents seems like the perfect thing for smooth sailing into an easy life. But when River Daniels, a charming artist with eyes the color of hot chocolate, asks her to join him in a project for class, Ellie may get more than just an A. She might find out how to live.
DRAWN TO YOU comes out August 19th anywhere and everywhere ebooks are sold.
Author bio:
Author shot
Angi Black is a dancer, a singer, a pirate, a poet. One of those is a lie. She writes New Adult and Adult and owns her own editing business, Wise Owl Words. She also teaches dance and theater all while baking treats and greening up the world around her. She loves music and donuts. She’s Team Damon and her muse is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gene Kelley. Whedonite. Coffee. Ambassador of Awesome. Bourbon. Beatles. Zeppelin. Mraz. Queen of useless trivial knowledge. Betty White is her spirit animal. Her patronus is a chorus of back-up dancers singing Don’t Rain on my Parade. Angi blogs at The Writer Diaries, All The Write Notes, and Indie Ignites. She even has a fancy website.
Links:

RT Recap and How To Convention

Today’s Brew: Is there coffee shock therapy?

by Kristen

If you follow me on Twitter (and if not, why not? You know I’m fun.), you know that last week I was in New Orleans for the Romance Times Convention, or as you saw it a thousand times, RT14.  Simply put, I had a blast. All of us who spent time together are lamenting how weird it feels to get back in to our regular routines at home.

Tammy Farrell, a convention virgin (yes, Tammy, I outed you) asked me a lot of questions about RT, and we figured she couldn’t be alone with having questions about attending conventions.  I had her ask some questions I could answer on the blog that might help you if you’re wondering why the heck we go to these things.

What is the schedule like?

During the weekdays, there are panels scheduled throughout the morning and afternoon. Because a wide variety of people attend this particular convention (writers, readers, agents, editors, bloggers, booksellers, and librarians), there were panels directed at all groups of people.  I looked for ones that were about writing craft, marketing, or self publishing. The nice thing is, if a panel isn’t what you want it to be, you get up and go to another one, or just get a coffee and relax. Because your brain can get overloaded quickly at these things, there are also social events during the day that are just fun and you can meet people.  At night, there were parties to attend, but I found most people stopped by those briefly and either went out to dinner with a group or hung out in the lobby and socialized. Saturday was fan day, and the day of the huge book signing. 300 authors signed at the event. I was waitlisted because I’m an indie author, which was fine with me.  I attended another event that evening called FAN-tastic that I was able to connect with readers at.  

I’d like to know how you get set up to do a signing, what kinds of things (materials) do you need to prepare. 

Don’t quote me on this, because I didn’t get in to the signing in time. I got waitlisted.  It looked like you were automatically able to sign if you were traditionally published. It seemed like there was a predetermined amount of spaces for indie authors.  There was some controversy about calling the indie author room “aspiring writers.”  Shame on you, RT.  Do you know how many NYT best sellers were in the “aspiring” room?  I don’t think there should be any segregation at all. Just first come, first serve, no matter who you are.

If you are doing a signing, obviously you need books. Bring a sign so people can see what you have from a distance.  You want to draw them in and talk to them. Make sure you have something they can walk away with that they remember you and your brand, even if they don’t buy a book. Swag swag swag. LOL.  Before you set foot into the signing space, you need to shout it from the rooftops you’re going to be there. Activity attracts activity and you want to make sure you’re not sitting there looking at Twitter.


What’s the best way to meet people. How do you choose which event to go to?

Charlaine Harris and Jeannine Frost at a RT14 panel. I take lousy photos. Deal with it.

Charlaine Harris and Jeannine Frost at a RT14 panel. I take lousy photos. Deal with it.

Go up and introduce yourself. Just start talking. Everyone is there for the same thing. Yes, that sounds scary as hell, and it is. I suggest the buddy system.  I had two awesome roommates, Angi Black and Sarah Guillory, who I didn’t really know all that well before I went, and thank God they were awesome. It’s a lot less intimidating to enter a room with someone or looking for someone. Reach out to your Twitter or Facebook friends who are going to be at the event, and make sure you find them when you’re there. I spent a lot of time with Zoey Derrick, and because of her met Angel Payne, who was amazing. Anyone you really want to meet? Reach out to them and offer to take them to coffee.

The description of some events will tell you right away if you want to go or not. A YA sleepover party might not interest you, but the NA one? Hell yeah. Some things were publisher hosted, some were general events, and sometimes, you just want to hang out in the lobby and talk.


Best/Worst practices at a convention. 

Have a plan. I like to print out the schedule beforehand so I know what events/panels interest me.
Talk to as many people as possible.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything. Take breaks if you need to.
Try new things.


After putting out all that money, what do you think YOU got out of it? Why is it worth it? 

You might think you have a great reach on social media, with tons of followers and fans, but going to a convention is a way to really get to KNOW those people, for them to put a face to your name, and to get them invested in you, and vice versa.  I talked to Angi on Twitter before we roomed together, but spending five days living with her, I really got to know her. I barely knew Sarah at all, and I was so glad we roomed together because we probably would have never started talking on social media. Other people knew my name, but didn’t really know me, and they got a chance to see what I was all about. Some didn’t realize I had any books out. Twitter moves fast, and everyone has a lot going on.

It was also a chance to get my books in front of readers, simply asking them what type of things they liked to read. The number that said paranormal or urban fantasy was staggering, so I don’t want to hear that paranormal is dead. Readers still want it. A number of people’s eyes lit up when I told them about vampire rock stars. Would they have ever found me in the millions of books available online? Maybe not.

You can also read articles all day long, but to talk to people who are doing things well and pick their brains in person is priceless. Sometimes you find out about things you didn’t even know to ask about that make all the difference in your business. You see marketing, get to see and hear what readers are interested in, and really get to fully immerse yourself into the industry as it’s happening now. I can’t do that on my couch.

Pick conferences well, break out of your shell, and absorb as much as you can.

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