Jeanette Hubbard

Jeanette Hubbard

HOW SHE WROTE IT …

Author: Jeanette Hubbard

Genre(s): Humorous crime / suspense fiction

From: USA

Started writing her first book in her: teens

Published her first book at age: 61

Publisher: Promontory Press

Titles to date: 2

Where to find her: JeanetteHubbard.com

Books available at: Amazon.com & Barnes & Noble

 What motivated you to write your first book?

Fear. I wanted to be a writer from my early teens. I would start stories, maybe only a chapter or two, and never finish.

When I hit the age of sixty, my life took a radical, 180 degree turn. During the recession I lost my job and my prospects were not rosy. I decided I could find a dead-end job or I could use my time to do what I’d always daydreamed about doing. I sat down and wrote a book.

How much planning do you do before you start a new book?

That first book? I started without much of a plan. I wrote about a hundred pages and decided that I didn’t like the direction I was going. I threw it out and made an outline. I re-wrote that outline about a dozen times. I finally finished it and put it in a drawer for about a year before I showed it to anyone. During that year I wrote another book and did that one mostly by the seat of my pants. The third book I wrote an outline and mostly followed it. I’m firmly convinced that for a mystery/suspense writer you need an outline if you don’t want to waste a lot of time re-writing.

How do you feel about that first book you finished?

I took that book out of the drawer this past year and gutted it. I’ve attended several writer’s conferences and workshops in the last few years and I’m beginning to get a feel for what the book needs. I’m nearly done with the first completed draft of this re-write and I feel like I might have a book, (it’s a thriller), that I will feel proud about.

Would you rather write only one book (that sells a million copies) or write until you’re out of stories?

First, I will never be out of stories. I wake up with stories in my head and until dementia takes me I think I always will.

Second, I’m 66 and there are so many things I want to do and not a lot of money to do them. I’d love to sell a million copies of just about anything. Maybe not ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, but who knows?

Your worst review?

Oh yeah. This guy, older I think, really didn’t like the first book, ‘Secrets, Lies and Champagne Highs’. And he went on for great lengths about it on Amazon. Paragraph after paragraph dissecting it. I’m amazed at his persistence. When I don’t like a book I put it down and move on. I don’t expect everybody who reads my books to like them. I’ve had enough positive feedback to feel good about my books and my writing. A really good review can wipe out a bad one.

What’s your best writing advice?

From Robert Dugoni in a workshop he did for either the Willamette Writers Conference or Left Coast Crime.

“There has to be something at stake.”

You can’t have just a series of scenes where this happens, then that happens, etc. You need to give the reader a reason to keep turning the pages.

We have a WINNER!

Your heroine has just won $100,000. The catch is that she has to spend it all in 24 hours. Describe the day she spends that money.

  • a bullet
  • a bullet
  • maybe another

Call to action and maybe a sample

Post your ideas in the comments below and in the Facebook group to get your well-deserved “AttaGirl!

Resources for Self-Published & Hybrid Authors (3 of 3)

Resources for Self-Published & Hybrid Authors (3 of 3)

Sent by Nicole Evelina

So far in this series we’ve covered associations, groups looking to elevate the best of indie books, and resources such as books, websites/blogs, and social media. Now we’ll tackle two big areas of interest for all writers: how to get more reviews and what contests are open to indie authors. (NOTE: Each of the titles is a link to that site).

Reviews

We all know how important reviews are to selling our books. There are several legitimate services that can help connect you to readers. (Remember, that is what you are paying for here, not for the reviews, which is against Amazon’s TOS and are never guaranteed by these services.)

NetGalley

This one is very pricey if you don’t do it through a group or co-op of some sort, pretty much out of the price range of most indie authors. Check out discounts offered by IBPA and other groups if you’re interested in using NetGalley. I’ve done it once and was not happy with my results (both in terms of numbers and in how mean the reviews were) but others have had great success.

Novel Reviewers

This group is kind of like NetGalley, only smaller. You pay for shelf space for a certain amount of time ranging from $50 for 90 days to $150 for 365 days. Readers are supposed to leave a review, but don’t always and they usually don’t cross list their reviews on Amazon/Goodreads. For me, it was a nice way to get a few more downloads, but not terribly successful.

Choosey Bookworm

They feature books in a newsletter (like Bookbub or Forwordz) or you can ask to be connected to their group of book reviewers for a price based on how many connections you’re looking for. If you do that, you gift your ebook to the reviewers through Amazon and they leave a review. (Not all will, but most do.) I have had more luck with this than Novel Reviews or Netgalley. (Their website is not intuitive. Scroll to bottom and look for “For Authors” under “Resources” at the right.)

Kindle Book Review

They maintain a list of reviewers and allow you to query one at a time to see if they are interested in reading your book. You can also advertise inexpensively/free, and they sponsor the annual Kindle Book Awards.

Night Owl Reviews

It’s free to list your book with them, but there is no guarantee your book will be reviewed. They also offer advertising opportunities at a range of prices and occasionally send swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.) to people who have signed up to receive it.

Contests

I will admit to being a big fan of contests, but that may be because I’m highly competitive. Regardless of your motivations for entering, contests are a great way to gain notoriety and get your work in front of new readers. Winning gives your book a mark of legitimacy and every contest I’ve won or been a finalist in has brought new opportunities my way. Plus, who doesn’t like being told their work is great?

But you do have to be careful because there are quite a few scammers out there posing as legitimate contests. Rather than naming names since everything is subjective and I could be wrong, I’ll give you this advice: watch out for high entry fees, tons of categories and dig into who really sponsors the contest. Usually if it’s sponsored by a media/marketing company, you want to be wary. Also, you’ll want to look at what you’re getting for your money. If you win, are they giving you an actual medal/trophy/ribbon? Is there a cash prize? Or are you only getting a badge for your web site and a press release? Do they expect you to pay extra for your award? Few benefits for your money are red flags.

That being said, here’s a list of indie awards I believe are worth taking a look at. I’m including their prices (as of the time I made this list) so you can see the range. They are roughly in order of when submissions are due throughout the year.

Chanticleer Reviews

(Full disclosure, I won several contests of theirs in 2015 and am a finalist in 2016)
They do contests in every fiction genre, with prices and deadlines varying by contest

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

(Full disclosure: I won a Gold Medal in the Fantasy Category through them in 2016)
$75/category $50 for additional categories

International Rubery Book Awards

$60/book

Library Journal Indie Ebook Awards

Free to enter, but only they take romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy and young adult

CIPA EVVY Awards

One category: members $ 75, non-members $ 95,
Multiple categories: members $ 60/category, non-members $80/category

Foreword Book of the Year Awards

$79 one category /$59 multiple categories

Benjamin Franklin Awards (IBPA)

$95/category

There are also a few that have sparked quite a bit of debate over whether or not they are legitimate. You will find articles on sites like Writer Beware telling you to be cautious about these, but not calling them scams. I’m listing them so you can make up your own mind.

Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY)

$95/category

Reader’s Favorite

Early Bird, $89/Final $108/category

Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards

$99/$75 for each additional category

Also, don’t forget that most genre groups/associations hold their own contests.

I think I’ve pretty much exhausted what I’ve learned during my own crash course on self-publishing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at nicole.evelina@att.net.

Nicole Evelina is a multi-award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her most recent novel, Madame Presidentess, a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America’s first female Presidential candidate, was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Been Searching for You, her contemporary romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

Nicole’s writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Independent Journal, Curve Magazine and numerous historical publications. As an armchair historian, Nicole researches her books extensively, consulting with biographers, historical societies and traveling to locations when possible. Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Alliance of Independent Authors, the Independent Book Publishers Association and the Midwest Publisher’s Association.

Find Nicole and her writing in these places:

NicoleEvelina.com — Amazon.comAmazon.ca — Goodreads — Facebook — Twitter

 

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7 films about female writers and authors

7 films about female writers and authors

I’ve seen a good handful of films about writers. Some, I’ve really enjoyed, like Misery (based on the Stephen King novel) and Adaptation (with Nicholas Cage portraying the real-life writer, Charlie Kaufman), The Ghost Writer (Ewan McGregor…rawr!) and Barton Fink (love the Coen brothers films). But I could only remember having seen two films about female writers.

So, I consulted the Google Oracle to see what I might have forgotten. Google failed me… or, perhaps, it’s popular culture that has failed all female authors. I looked at list-after-list — found over 100 films about authors and writers — and these are the only films I could find that focussed on ladies who write. Boo, Hollywood.

FREE COURSES & RESOURCES FOR WRITERS

If you know of any films about female writers, journalists, authors, screenwriters… please let us know!

Share your links on this post at the Write, Woman, Write Facebook page.

9 books every aspiring author should read

9 books every aspiring author should read

If you’re looking for books to give you inspiration — not correct your grammar or give you a bunch of “you should” rules — these are some of my favourite, and some of the most highly praised, books to keep you motivated with your own book-writing.

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
Becoming a Writer, Dorothea Brandt
Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
On Writing, Stephen King
Save the Cat, Blake Snyder
Write Within Yourself, William Kenower
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury

FREE COURSES & RESOURCES FOR WRITERS

Any books about writing that have inspired you to write more, be a more confident writer, or find your creativity?

Share the books that have helped on this post at the Write, Woman, Write Facebook page.

4 TED Talks every aspiring author should watch

4 TED Talks every aspiring author should watch

If you’ve watched all of the Revved Up Authors video conversations and crave more words of wisdom from women who’ve driven the highway to publication, maybe a TED Talk is in order. They’re pretty good :). Here are four that have struck and stuck with me — in a fully wonderful way.

Success, failure, and the drive to keep creating by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)

The power of introverts by Susan Cain (author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking)

Where does creativity hide? by Amy Tan (author of The Valley of Amazement)

My year of saying yes to everything by Shonda Rhimes (author of Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)

FREE COURSES & RESOURCES FOR WRITERS

Any talks, TED or otherwise, that have inspired you to write more, be a more confident writer, or find your creativity?

Share your links on this post at the Write, Woman, Write Facebook page.

What did she say?

This prompt was inspired by a blog post written by Susan Wingate several weeks ago called Lexiconimography. In that post she shares a short list of a few unusual words she’s saved from the daily emails she gets from Dictionary.com. I clicked over to see what the word of the day was and found myself wondering how one of my characters might use the word ‘nodus.’ Then I wondered how I could use the word ‘limacine’ in a conversation with my husband without being rude!

 

  • Visit Dictionary.com and take a look at the most recent ‘Word of the Day’ entries.
  • Pick one word that one of your characters might use — or would never use! — and add it to a line of their dialogue.
  • How does the other character react to the use of this unusual word? See where the conversation goes now!

Post your new line of dialogue in the comments below and in the Facebook group to get your well-deserved “AttaGirl!

Mash-up genre

Think of two entirely different, and if possible, conflicting genres. Now think of a title that would suit your mash-up genre.

For instance:

  • Business + Science fiction = The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Extraterrestrials
  • Hobby + Psychology = Deco Designs for the Serial Killer Mind
  • Travel guide + Murder mystery = Best Places to Murder on the Orient Express

Now write a one or two sentence log-line for the story.

Post your log-line in the comments below and in the Facebook group to get your well-deserved “AttaGirl!”.

Third person bio

This week you’re writing a short (maximum 50-words), 3rd person bio to include in your Write, Woman, Write profile. Of course, you can use this bio anywhere you’d like — I am not the boss of you!

Include

  • one personal fact about yourself that is connected to what you write about or your genre,
  • one writing accomplishment, and
  • a line about where people can find your writing.

For instance, I could write:

Although the men in her stories might raise an eyebrow, Donna Barker is a happily married, career technical writer who spends her evenings concocting horrific ways for her heroines to get out of lousy relationships. Get a glimpse inside her worlds — both real and imagined — at DonnaBarker.com. (47 words)

Or:

It took Donna Barker six months to write her second novel and two years to pluck up the courage to share it — and only because she was about to turn 50. Three weeks later, she figured out what she wants to be when she grows up. Find out at WriteWomanWrite.com. (50 words)

Over to you! Share your bios below so we can get to know each other just a little better.

Post your bio in the comments below and on the Facebook page to get a well-deserved “AttaGirl!”

Back cover blurb

Don’t be fooled by how short the prompt is.

Many authors spend hours — days — writing their back cover blurb, only to throw their hands in the air (still attached to their arms in all of the cases I know of) and say, “Ugh. I hate it! But I have to be done with this. My designed needs it yesterday.”

Regardless of how far along you are with your book, this is a valuable exercise. It’s copy you can use to pitch to beta readers and in cover letters to agents. And the earlier you start working on your back cover blurb, the more drafts you’ll be able write before you need that final version!

  • Write the back cover blurb for your book in no more than 125 words.

Post your blurb in the comments below and on the Facebook page to get your well-deserved “AttaGirl!

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