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This is why I found that the toe dipping approach worked well for me. While I love my friends and family, having them tell me that they loved or enjoyed my book felt biased and at times even challenging to fully believe – well of course they love it, they love me. I feel lucky to have a very wonderful and supportive network of people around me who truly believe in me.

As a newbie to writing fiction, I’ve spent a ton of time researching the ins and outs of writing and publishing. One thing that has surprised me is the number of authors who say “just get it written and move on to the next one”. The theory is that a writer can get paralyzed by perfectionism. gas in oil mower By needing to do just one more read through; one more re-write. From that angle, I get it and it does make sense. However, I’m not a dump and run kind of gal. Even after making my book available publicly, I still kept taking another look and pondering parts of what I’d written and what I hadn’t written. In my heart I knew there were more improvements that could be made.

So I kept reviewing and pondering and working with other people to get more feedback and suggestions. In the end, I’ve decided to go ahead with a pretty substantial re-write. Don’t panic if you’ve read the book! The actual “story” isn’t changing, but I do think that you’ll like the revisions when they’re all done. Plus I am still working hard on Book 2, which I hope to even better from the growth I’ve gone through and the way the Book 1 re-write will spill over into it.

I’ve read books that have been published and reached incredible heights of success, only to find that I didn’t really find the writing to be anything spectacular. I don’t claim to be any sort of literary genius, not even close. I’m writing to entertain and hopefully to offer a little bit of light of positive influence to a few people. However, I still want to make sure that I put my absolute best foot forward.

I’ve been doing a bunch of research on various ways of promoting my book(s) and getting the word out there – this is beginning to prove my suspicions of a touch of A.D.D. It’s like I find one idea, work with it for a while, then go “oh look something new and shiny!” Definitely not the best way to approach things. But there are soooo many great ideas and things to do and frankly I just don’t have the time to do them all (at least not consistently and effectively).

Ok, here’s the deal. gas chamber jokes I need people, who have read and enjoyed my book, to help me spread the word about it – that’s a huge part of book marketing. I’m not looking for people who will just spam out links here, there and everywhere. I need people who really have read Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, who thoroughly enjoyed it, who want to see it become wildly popular and who want me to focus on finishing book 2 instead of promoting book 1.

At this stage of the game, I really have very little to offer in exchange for this help. I can’t hire people and I don’t have a garage full of swag to give away. So ya, I’ve got nothing to offer lol. I’m requesting a labour of love basically. The opportunity to participate in a “Pay-it-forward” campaign in return for the gratification of knowing you were an integral part of bringing Dreams of Beautiful Whisper and The Elves of Eytherfel to the world.

When most people ask me what Dreams of Beautiful Whisper is about, I tend to say “Elves, Magic and Romance – it’s a YA Fantasy novel”. But when I really stop and think about it, the entire series deals with problem solving – a fundamental skill that all teens (actually everyone) should have a strong grasp of. But teens in particular, with all the many issues they face often for the first time, are so much more equipped to deal with issues as they arise if they have strong problem solving and analytical skills.

There’s the obvious bigger issues addressing sexuality, substance abuse, disorders and bullying, but also in the areas that may not be so obvious yet affect far larger percentages of our teens such as relationships, activities, peer pressure (even when it doesn’t seem negative), personal image, attitude, general behaviour – even the best behaved most well adjusted kids have bad days or make bad choices.

I think it’s great that there are so many books out there that deal with the heavy topics and give certain teens something to relate to and ponder, maybe even learn and grow from. But my focus is more on the ordinary, the teens who aren’t dealing with bigger than life issues, they are dealing with the regular, everyday issues. gas station I think that because they are generally seen as being incredibly lucky, well adjusted, average kids that they often get left to their own devices.

The purpose of The Elves of Eytherfel series wasn’t to teach, it was to entertain and perhaps provide a small escape from the grind of day-to-day life. But I am who I am and without even realizing it or intending it Dreams of Beautiful Whisper ended up with a healthy dose of problem solving mixed in and it depicts teens who are compassionate, considerate, respectful and loving. Armed with this awareness I can say that the second book of the series will build on this.

The result is that besides being YA Fantasy novels, they are also part of a somewhat more rare genre mix that would be identified as “Reality Fiction Fantasy Crossover”. The reason it is rare is due to the oxymoron “Reality Fantasy” – it’s rather contradictory. However, the truth is that the Elven World in this series are hidden areas of our current modern world; there is a tremendous amount of similarity between the Elves and the Humans; there is even a bit of friction between the two “nationalities”; but more noticeable are the parallels in the issues that the characters face throughout the series – parents forcing a teen to move away from the town she grew up in and her boyfriend; questions surrounding matters of the heart; dealing with the introduction of unsettling information; questions of identity; struggling to see themselves for who they are meant to be; struggling to see the strength and beauty of themselves as seen by others; facing the frustration and challenges of learning new skills.

Well June was expected to be busy – it’s proving to be insane. I find I haven’t had as much time to sit and write as I would like, but I am definitely still plugging away at it. But even with not much actual writing time happening, my mind is constantly drawn to my characters and the story they want to share and they’re being pretty vocal. Can’t wait for the summer break when I’ll have more writing time available.

As people have been asking me what my books are about, I usually give the standard “Oh you know, it’s a young adult fantasy, with elves and magic.” But this weekend I spent some time pondering this a bit deeper. When I first wrote book one, Dreams of Beautiful Whisper, I had no deeper meaning or message that I was trying to convey. la gas leak I decided I wanted to write a book, so I wrote it. It really was intended for entertainment purposes, not a life lesson. However, the more I analyze my own work (which by the way is kinda weird to do), I’ve come to realize that though it wasn’t intentional, there is in fact a deeper meaning and message within my book.

In most of my business life I have focused on how I can help the little guy, the small businesses that don’t qualify for any special grants or special treatment and struggle the good ‘ol fashion way to make ends meet. Surprisingly, these average, normal businesses are very large in numbers – in fact, I’d venture an educated-guess to say that they make up a majority of private sector businesses.

Without ever having thought much about it, I’ve come to realize that I’m actually a big fan and supporter of the “average” and the “normal” – our majority. I find that most people, if they’re inclined, look to fight for a cause that they can support and most often that ends up being a cause in support of a minority of some sort. Something that a relatively small percentage of our society is actually affected by directly.

Then you see a lot of comments go around regarding the apathy of Canadians, how so many don’t take up a cause and just keep to themselves. I’ve often considered myself to be in this apathetic group. 4 gas giants I’m not an activist and I’m not a fan of anything taken to “extremes”. I’m a Libra, I like balance and I’m pro-choice on pretty much any topic you want to throw at me. Live and let live.

I’ll likely get deeper into this topic over time, but for now, let’s suffice it to say this – my books are about normal, average teens who come from good, loving families, who are overall healthy and well adjusted. They’re comfortable with their lives for the most part and they are learning the skills of coping, managing and problem solving – they represent the majority and in essence pretty much all teens as they have been, are or will be at some point. The books are fiction, they are meant for entertainment, however, my characters are still dealing with issues regarding self-identity, family, relationships… and my characters deal with all of this in their own way – ways that are built on from a place of love, respect, compassion and empathy. There are no religious undertones in my books; there is no focus on minority issues; my books don’t revolve around sexuality, substance abuse, disorders etc. Yes those are all important issues and there are plenty of advocates for them. My books focus on the mainstream average teens, jazzed up via elves and magic, and reflect that teens do not need to be labelled or have some major issue in their lives in order to have real-life, day-to-day issues and problems that they need to cope with and problem solve around. But at the end of the day it’s really not “what” the issue is, it’s “how” the issue is dealt with and reacted to. Will our own teens be faced with learning that they are in fact an eighty-four year old elf with incredible powers? (That would be kinda cool in my opinion lol) No, they won’t, but they could very well be faced with learning that they were adopted or that their parents are getting a divorce or that their best friend is moving half way across the world. While we may not be able to pick and choose our “issues” we most certainly can pick and choose our reactions – it makes no difference at all how big or small the issue is.

So I thought it might be appropriate to send out a general post to give readers some ideas. While the more sophisticated, analytical type reviews can be cool to receive too – they don’t all need to be like that. And frankly, most average readers either don’t have the time, the desire or even the know how to write those types of reviews. So here’s a few thoughts about what can help a book and author in various ways.

3) Take #2 a step further and provide a simple “why”. “I really enjoyed reading this book because I was able to relate to the characters.” (or: it was fun to read; I loved [NAME]’s character; it made me laugh or cry… anything that gives other readers (and the author) a bit of insight into “why”. The same for if you didn’t like it. q gastrobar Maybe there were too many typos, or you couldn’t pronounce the character names, or it simply wasn’t your cup of tea (too wishy washy, too much romance, not enough romance, not enough killing, too much killing etc) – again, just a simple glimpse helps.

4) Take #3 a step further and provide more than one “why”. Maybe there were things that you both liked and disliked – say what they were. Again, this doesn’t need to be fancy or long-winded – just say what’s on your mind, exactly the way you would if you were talking to your best friend about it. Keep it real and constructive – if the book needs work, explain (the best you can) why it needs work and what you feel would make it better.

No matter what angle you take, the only real suggestion I have is to stay away from extremes. “I loved this book, it was the best thing ever written in the entire universe!!!!!!!” or worse… “I absolutely hated this book from the depths of my soul. It was the biggest abomination to ever exist.” These are in no way helpful – the extreme on the positive comes across completely fake and frankly, is in no way likely true; the extreme on the negative is just plain mean – a real, live, breathing human being wrote this book. It’s a part of them, who they are and took a tremendous amount of effort and courage to get it into your hands – there is no reason to insult anyone like that, ever.