Veronica Bale

AND HER LITTLE WRITING LIFE

altHD-Wallpapers-by-techblogstop-4-1024x640If you read one of my more recent posts, When It’s Time to Make those Tough Decisions, you may recall that I have recently taken a hard look at what I’ve been spending my writing time doing, and had concluded that I need to cut a whole bunch of starchy, superfluous “stuff” from my plate. Translation: I dove too deep into the freelance content writing. I was good at it, sure. But I dreaded doing it as much as I dread going for blood work (or some equally distasteful activity … like bone re-setting or dental surgery). Because so much of my time was focused on content writing, I was not spending enough time on my books and my blog. Continue reading

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Startup Stock Photos

Startup Stock Photos

Personal branding. It’s a big thing these days. It doesn’t matter what you do, what you are or what you want to become, you can develop your very own personal brand. And you should. I’m not the only one who thinks that, there are hundreds – nay, thousands of blog articles on Personal Branding 101. Continue reading

downloadI have my fellow Boroughs Publishing Group authors to thank for this post. As a member of the Boroughs Author Group private Facebook page, I got to listen in on a debate that was raging about the value of Twitter for authors.

The original post which sparked this lively debate wondered why only followers who had been followed back were retained. It also questioned whether Twitter was an effective sales tool. It’s a common misconception, one that I see far too often, unfortunately. It hurt my heart to think that my fellow authors were having difficulty with Twitter because they weren’t using it in the most effective way. Moreover, that they could be using it very effectively if they only changed their mindset about what it is and how it’s valuable.

Continue reading

11224228_566228346853195_3182921007723976945_nIt is with immense pride that I announce my latest book, The Ghosts of Tullybrae House, is now available for pre-order and scheduled for release June 1, 2016.

This book has been a challenging project for me. It is a slight departure from my normal Highland historical romance. It’s been a labour of love and has taken a lot of soul-searching to write. In the end, I’m so very pleased with how it has turned out.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. And as always, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Reserve your copy of The Ghosts of Tullybrae House here.

Read an excerpt from The Ghosts of Tullybrae House.

listAh, the listicle. Do a Google search on how to increase your blog traffic, and chances are you’ll see listicles that advocate “Write your blog post as a listicle.” It’s true, listicles generally increase blog traffic. They’re not called click bait for nothing, after all. But as an author, mass traffic to your blog is not necessarily the reason you’re blogging. And because that’s so, the listicle is probably not going to be of much help to you in the long run.

Continue reading

Featured ImageHave you ever had so much on your plate, so much to do and so much you want to do, that you’re overwhelmed to the point of paralysis?

I never thought that would be me, but there it is—the explanation for why I’ve practically dropped off the face of the earth … or at least the digital version of the earth.

I’m a writer and a content marketer. I have tons of tips, tricks, advice and experience when it comes to cranking out manuscripts, articles, and being generally productive and prolific. So imagine my surprise when I realized that I’ve fallen victim to that dreaded Bitten-Off-More-Than-I-Can-Chew syndrome! Continue reading

coffeeIf you were to put the question to the general writing community of whether you should be guest blogging or not, you are likely to get some very strong opinions on both sides of the spectrum. I certainly did. In a previous post, What to Do When You Just Can’t Get a Review, the comments I received from my blog readers were overwhelmingly in agreement that you should be guest posting. However, when I made the same suggestion to a few influential local bloggers in my sphere of acquaintanceship, their resounding response was “Oh, gawd no! That’s horrible for SEO!” Continue reading

Hello all! I’m so very pleased to have Cate from Romance Debuts with me today on my blog. Cate has profiled numerous first-time and multi-published authors, and I’m so proud to have here here today to tell us all what she’s learned in her time as a romance blogger. 

So then, without further ado … Cate, take it away!

7 Things I’ve Learned About Writing a Book

About six months ago I started Romance Debuts, a blog designed to help aspiring romance writers. I had resolved to finally move forward with at least one of my drafts and really give this romance writing thing “the old college try.”

Daunted by the process of writing and publishing a book, I wanted to track down writers who had gone through it for the first time to find out how they’d done it. Then I figured there were probably lots of other not-yet-published writers who’d like to know the same things.

That led to another thought. Newly published writers would probably appreciate another forum for connecting with readers. Thus, Romance Debuts was born:  A place for not-yet-published writers to learn from published writers, and for those newly-published writers to build an audience.

After about 45 interviews with newly published and multi-published authors, including Kristan Higgins and Robyn Carr, I’ve picked up invaluable advice. Here are seven bits of wisdom that have emerged:

  1. If you want to be a writer, you have to write and learn the craft. The only way to get better at writing is to write. A lot. Many authors aim for daily word counts, some modest, others grand. The point is that you have to keep working on your stories. Without practice, you won’t improve. And that very first draft? It may never get published, but it will help you learn how to write a good story.  
  2. The first draft is crappy for almost all of us. Even for bestselling authors. Kristan Higgins admitted that her first drafts are crappy, and Sonali Dev explained that she has to vomit out the first drafts of her books. Those two admissions made me feel so much better…not that I delight in other people’s pain or anything.
  3. You can find inspiration anywhere. I’m fascinated to learn what inspires an author’s book. For author Nancy Sartor, it was a voice she heard on her way to the bathroom in the middle of the night (creepy!). For Ryan Jo Summers it was a picture from a calendar that she held onto for years. For Marilyn Baxter it was a news article. It’s so important to keep your eyes and ears open and go where the muse takes you!
  4. You have to make time to write the book. There are so many things that battle for our time (the job, the kids, the pets, the house, etc.), but the authors who have published have figured out a way to make time for their books. Rebecca Brooks made finishing the book a birthday gift to herself. Taryn Taylor treats writing like a job; she reminds herself that she can’t flake out on work just because she doesn’t feel like doing it. Rachel Goodman writes in her head all day long. You do what you have to do.
  5. You need supportive people in your life. Those people can be writing friends, non-writing friends, or relatives who will read your stuff and give feedback. I love this quote from Nicole Leirin about her husband: “He knows that I have to write in order to keep some semblance of sanity in my brains, so he graciously sends me upstairs after dinner with the claim, ‘Time for you to write, isn’t it?’”
  6. Self-publishing is a great option for a lot of new writers. Many of the interviewees, including Veronica Bale, Jen Crane, Julie Cameron, Debi Matlack, Marian Lanouette, Melissa Rolka, Marina Adair, Juli Page Morgan, Margaret Locke, Adria Gaskins, and Jamie Farrell, have made a great case for self-publishing. For the right person, self-publishing really works.
  7. Life doesn’t change a whole lot after you publish a book. You just get busier. And the fear that you won’t be able to finish a book never goes away. I’m not sure if that makes me feel better or worse about the whole thing!

To glean more wisdom from newly and multi-published writers, visit romancedebuts.wordpress.com. You can also find me on Facebook at Romance Debuts and Twitter @romancedebs. And if you’ve published a book, contact me at romancedebs@yahoo.com. I’d love to help you share your publishing experience and promote your debut!

Happy writing,

Cate