One of the reasons I started writing the #ElenaRansom book series was to inspire a new generation of teen readers. Some people flat out don't enjoy reading, so I was hoping that a new adventure series would breathe life back into the reading world. My books and/or writing style may not be for everyone, but I've had very positive feedback from tweens and young teen girls.
So, I've got to be honest that I was disappointed with the sales when I released #ElenaRansomandtheCatalanAtlas last Friday. I'm still new at the whole, "Let me figure out how and where to spend my advertising dollars" and I clearly wasn't successful at it this time.
I don't know about you, but when I feel disappointed, sometimes I tend to just want to give up on things. On Saturday I was feeling like, "What's the point of continuing to write this series if no one is going to read it."
But then, 2 amazingly encouraging things happened:
1. A friend of my sister bought both my books for her twins girls. The girls loved the books so much they got them on Sunday and are already finished reading them. Wow! That's a huge compliment.
2. I met with a group of women writers yesterday to share stories and ideas for writing, marketing, promoting our writing and books. It was so awesome! And exactly what I needed.
In addition to this, my sister reminded me that I write because I want to reach children through this craft. She reminded me that one of my goals was to publish a book that children would read, and I have done that.
So, today I'm working through my disappointment. And, as always, I'm offering FREE reading for everyone!
My ENTIRE first book, "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit" is a free PDF download
And a portion of my second book, "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas" is a free PDF download
Sometimes I get discouraged because I can't see the future of where this book series is supposed to go. Today, I'm going to try to remember that there are a few little girls out there that love #ElenaRansom
So excited to announce that the artwork is finished for Book 2, "Elena Ransom and the Catalan Atlas"
I've been working on the exterior and interior files to submit for publication. The November launch will be here before I know it!
I'm also working on bookmarks again. I plan to use these instead of business cards:
When I was a teenager, all the women on the magazine covers and faces on TV and movies were T.I.N.Y. They joked that the model’s diet was cigarettes and diet coke because that’s all they’d have during the day to keep them going. The target body type was skinny with big boobs. That type of “perfection” was clearly unattainable to the average woman on the street, but if you consider the “model’s diet” it was clearly unattainable within the celebrity world, too, or else they wouldn’t have needed that diet in the first place.
Today, we’re living in a culture that recognizes that women’s bodies are different. We are taught that we should embrace our sizes with healthy eating and a well-rounded life style. I really do appreciate the teaching to be healthy at your size than the unhealthy images that I saw when I was young. But let’s also consider what our selfie culture is doing to our own self-esteem.
What do you think when you see a famous person undress for a camera? Really, think about it. Do you think a person that is posting naked pictures is confident in their body? Or does it seem more like a cry to “LOOK AT ME!”?
What about your friends? What about yourself? Think about it!! If you undress and share pictures of yourself are you looking for others to say, “Wow, you look amazing!” or are you trying to gain attention? What does this say about your self-esteem?
Or think about it this way… What if you’re looking at selfies of others thinking, “Gosh, I’ll never look that good” or “They have it all together because they’re so beautiful.”
So, here’s your writing assignment: I want you to write what makes you feel bad about yourself. Is it someone at school or a celebrity in the media or maybe a close friend?
Then, I want you to write 3 positive things about yourself that no amount of selfie posting can change.
Okay, that’s it. Happy writing, Epic Inkers.
On Sale Now! Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit
Book 1 of the "Elena Ransom" 6 book series!
Of course, not ALL our dreams come true. But one of my lifelong dreams did come true today when I became an official Author!
The "Elena Ransom" book series is a project I've been working on for over 8 years now. Even though I have 4 books written, I've been waiting for the right time to release Book 1 "Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit."
Well, TODAY is the DAY!! Order your copy at https://www.amazon.com/Elena-Ransom-Firebird-Unit-1/dp/0997890800/
Once I get all my notes together, I'll share my journey through self publishing so you can learn how to publish your novel!
Why do you like a good love story? I know we all like a good love story in books, TV, and movies. But why do YOU like a good love story? Think about it…
One of the reasons I love a good love story is that I want two characters to care about one another in the same way at the same time. That can seem like a rare concept to us in real life sometimes, so we can enjoy it in the world of fantasy.
When I was a teen I was always crushing on a boy. On the inside covers of my notebooks I would write “I” and then draw a little heart and then fill in the boy’s name. But the boy didn’t always feel the same about me. And so, I always enjoyed a good love story, where the boy loves the girl and she loves him back.
However, sometimes our culture teaches us that we’re ONLY important if we’re in a relationship with a significant other. But that’s just not true. I mean, seriously, raise your hand if you’ve been in a relationship and still felt alone.
So, for my writing exercise I want you to Brainstorm a story with characters that have feelings of love for one another, but not romantically. It can be between friends or maybe between a child and parent.
In my new book, Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit, the main character doesn’t have a love interest, but love is certainly shown between friends and the building of friendship.
So, what kind of love relationship can you write about?
Keep writing, Epic Inkers!
As you begin to think about writing the perfect villain in your story, consider your favorite villains in literature, movies, or TV. What stands out about their personality and behavior? Are they sneaky, a liar, do they crave power, or are they simply oozing evil?
Also, have you noticed lately that writers, especially in TV, are trying to show us a villain’s backstory. These villains are never born evil. They become villains because of a specific circumstance. These writers are showing us a villain’s motivation behind their wicked behavior.
So, now let’s think about the biggest bully in your life. Maybe this “villain” is bullying you because of your appearance or social status. What stands out about their personality or behavior? Have they betrayed you, lied about you, or bullied you into thinking you’re not worthy?
Being bullied can lead to depression and living in a state of constant fear. Bullying is NEVER okay and if you’re being bullied today please tell a trusted parent or adult and SEEK HELP RIGHT AWAY. And KNOW that it’s not your fault. There’s nothing anyone can ever do to deserve a relentless bully.
If you’re not in an extreme bullying situation, let’s think for a minute about the biggest bully in your school. Maybe you’re watching someone bully someone else. These bullies didn’t get that way over night. Can you imagine what he/she must be going through at home if they have to be so awful at school?
Or maybe think about the most popular person at school? Could you imagine what they’d feel like if they suddenly weren’t the most popular? I know it may seem like you’re alone in this, but the truth is that everyone has a backstory. And everyone, at times, does feel alone.
This week, write the perfect villain based on a person from your real life. The character can be an exaggeration of a real person. If the villain in your life is being bullied (in private) imagine how they might be different? Write WHY or HOW you think your villain became that way.
Also, before we close today, I wanted to mention an extreme form of bullying that’s called “abuse.” I knew a girl in high school that had been sexually abused by her uncle. If you’re being sexually, physically, or mentally abused today please, PLEASE TELL SOMEONE RIGHT AWAY. Go to a trusted adult. If they don’t help you go to someone else until someone listens. It is NEVER okay to experience these types of abuse.
I hope that you can get started writing the perfect villain for your story. You can still get a free download of my book “Elena Ransom and the Firebird Unit” on my website HERE. The villain in my first book is a common one; he’s a boy in Elena’s class that she just doesn’t like and they really don’t get along. If you’ve read the book and you want to make comments on my website or Facebook that would be awesome. In the meantime, keep writing Epic Inkers and have a great week!
Doing life together, my Epic Inkers…
Last time, I wrote about creating a writing plan. Have you done that already? Have you decided what type of writing interests you? If you’re writing a story of any kind, developing dynamic characters is one of the most important aspects that you need to focus on.
I find that the best characters don’t come from my imagination, but from people I know or have met. As I sat down to start writing my new book, Elena Ransom and the Island Station Amulet, I decided that her life would an exaggeration of experiences in my own childhood. Even though this story is set 300 years in the future, I wanted the reader to feel as if the characters were someone they knew from their own lives.
Writing an exaggerated version of the truth should provide you with the perfect villain, hero, best friend, love interest, or annoying sidekick in any story you write. Also, this method allows the story to come alive in a different way for each reader.
So, think about people in your own life. Could you twist and exaggerate your family, friends, and enemies and then weave them into your story?
Put your cell phone down. Think about the people you know. They don’t all talk the same or have the same mannerisms. What type of characters will you develop for your story?
Next time, we’ll talk about creating dialogue for each character because what they say and sound like should be specific to who they are. This is the only way your reader can get a sense of each individual. Good dialogue can move a story along, but excellent dialogue can make a story come alive.
Doing life together, my Epic Inkers…
Dear Epic Inkers,
I felt out of place as a teen...more than once. But the truth is, we're only as alone as we choose to be. I'm not saying it's easy to make friends or feel connected with people, but don't be discouraged!