Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thanks For Staying Tune In ~

Dear Readers,

Last spring I had no inkling my life would change drastically overnight. However, it did just that and so consequently I've neglected Montana Scribblers. For those who want details, you can read all about it here.

Now that I'm settling into a new lifestyle, barring another life-altering event, I'll be sharing again whatever I learn that's helpful to writers.

Thanks for staying tuned in ~~ Mona Leeson Vanek

Friday, August 29, 2014

Becoming a Best Seller Before Publication!

Charles Hobbs, a member of Internet Writing Workshop, who sent his book through the non-fiction list as he was writing it is fast becoming a best selling author on Amazon before the November 4, 2014 release of Hidden History of Los Angeles Transportation by Charles P. Hobbs.

As of August 19th "Hidden History of Los Angeles Transportation" had a sales ranking hovering between 10-12 in the category  "Mass Transit."

Congratulations to Charles, and watch for more here after the first of November, about how and why he wrote his book. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Determined 91 y/o Ruth Zavitz - Author of Flight to the Frontier - Tells How to Succeed

Ruth Zavitz is a classic example of a determined author. Flight to the Frontier's birthing process was long and arduous. The story of a family's flight to the wilds of Niagara to escape persecution during the American Revolution was thirty years in gestation. She never gave up. Ruth's historical novel, Flight to the Frontier, is a boon to readers.

"The novel has taken that long to find a publisher," Ruth said. "However it only needed one, and they are so enthusiastic they are considering publishing the sequel."

In a recent interview Ruth shared her story.
"I have been writing since I learned my ABCs, but never considered anyone would publish my efforts until financial desperation forced my hand in 1962. To my amazement, The Family Herald and Weekly Star (long since deceased) published my first submission on raising geese and asked for more contributions. Since then some 350 articles and essays have appeared in US and Canadian magazines and I regret I didn't recognize the potential earlier.
My first attempt at a novel was spawned by my love of pioneer history. I'd read many books on the settlement of Eastern Ontario and the Maritimes. I could find none set in the Niagara Peninsula. Why not? After all, that was the birthplace of Ontario. Dramatic possibilities, not only in a settler-family's harrowing experience carving a home from the forest, but in the establishment of a province with the accompanying pageantry. Great material.To my dismay, I found fiction required a complete change of technique. In nonfiction, one uses the old saw re sermons: 'Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them'. Fiction is the opposite.
Every piece of fiction I write, even now, has to be vetted to remove the sentence at the beginning of paragraphs that reveals what the paragraph will be about. Topic sentences completely destroy the tension required to keep the reader turning pages. 
Like most first-time authors, I thought my first novel, Flight to the Frontier, was perfect and eagerly queried agents then, undaunted, publishers. Disillusioned by the printed slips of paper received in return, I put my masterpiece away but continued to write short pieces and study the craft. 
Whenever I discovered a new technique I hauled out the manuscript, revised, and sent it out again. Local critique groups, The Internet Writing Workshop. and NovelAdvice (sadly no longer on line) were a great help in pointing out repetitive words--the bane of my life-- as well as holes in the plot. 
Recently I learned that verbs like, saw, knew, and felt, distance the reader from the POV character and should be eliminated wherever possible. Amazing the difference it makes. My former fly-on-the-wall approach was much too stilted and formal. 
Finally, success. Chronicler Publishing, a royalty-paying POD publisher in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, published Flight to the Frontier, just in time for my 91st birthday. The book is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 
Mr. Goulet, the Editor/Publisher, handles only Canadian historical fiction. He has been open to my suggestions, both as to the text and cover, and I'm happy to say is now considering the sequel, Niagara Odyssey.
I live in London, Ontario with a contrary cat and an equally contrary computer, and keep busy revising the third volume of the trilogy, Canadian Mosaic--when the computer cooperates. 
The moral of the story: If you are a real writer you have to keep feeding your addiction. And somewhere there is an editor/publisher who will share your dream when you have polished the manuscript sufficiently. However, if you have to force yourself to write, forget it. Grow flowers or knit afghans. No one in their right mind should endure the discouragement writers face if they can possibly help themselves."
Other works Ruth has published include a novel, High on Grass, a short article, “Have Tulip Will Travel” published In GreenPrints (Print mag), a short story “A Bird in the Hand” published online CommuterLit, and “Hello Central” at
Her “A Cinnamon Scented Grandmother” has been chosen for inclusion in an anthology on grandmothers.

Congratulations, Ruth!

Crooked Lines, by Holly Michael Released July 20, 2014

Holly Michael's debut novel, Crooked Lines, was released July 20, 2014 by AMDG Publishing and is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister's death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling.

Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers.

Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…And buried memories, unearthed.

Crooked Lines,  a beautifully crafted debut novel, threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. Compelling characters struggle with spirituality through despair and deceptions in search of truth. ---

Meet Holly Michael a long standing member of Internet Writing Workshop. You won't want to  miss her debut novel.

Holly Michael


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Return Repeatedly to Carrie Smith's Blog, The 100 Best Websites For Writers

This is bound to be old news to many of you, but good news to others who have not yet seen The 100 Best Websites For Writers, published by author, Carrie Smith at The Write Life, on January 14, 2014.

Besides, The 100 Best Websites For Writers is definitely a blog post that warrants repeat visits.

In addition to the 100 websites Smith features, much additional and valuable information is provided in the 121 comments, which follow About the Author: Carrie Smith. [scroll down]

Carrie Smith is
"a solopreneur on a mission to help freelancers and solopreneurs design a lifestyle business that earns more money in less time."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RSS Feed ~ How it Works and What it Can Accomplish

Internet Writing Workshop member, Nichespur, offers additional information about making use of RSS feeds:
"RSS feed is a snippet of computer code that your readers can choose to "subscribe to", which sends them (your readers) a notification, (in your browser and email if that option is selected) that something has changed on your website. Translation: both the author and the reader agree to have a form of spyware installed on their computers. Twitter functions in much the same way. This allows you to attract viewers, and interested parties to keep in touch with what you are doing without having to go back to websites that never change.

Both RSS Feeds and twitter increase the bandwidth your webpage is generating, Increased bandwidth equates to increased importance on the internet so your websites will pop up more often, or nearer the top, in the search engines too.

KDP authors page means a Kindle Direct Publishing website you can develop on the Amazon servers IF you publish eBooks through them.

So who should use RSS feeds? Probably anybody who has a blog that is trying to attract and keep more readers....of the blog that is. Personal experience though, shows me this won't necessarily equal more books sales. Although I must say, Montana Scribbler's blog site explores so many interesting topics, besides writing, that it makes me want to read some of her other writing too. So her blog might actually work as intended. So Good job there Mona and I'm working on my blog contribution too. Write on!"     Nichespur.

You can find the RSS feeds you are connected to between "Favorites" and "History" on your IE Browser.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are Your Blogs Vulnerable To Hackers?

Can you be hacked through your blog? You bet your sweet booties.

Sarah Corbett Morgan said,
"I was hacked through the scripts of a blog theme. I have a WordPress. org blog and use Bluehost as my webhost. They were incredible at unsnarling the mess, taking me offline, and helping me get my blog back.
"I had backed up the blog, but had I not I would have lost 170 + posts, all the data including tags, comments and media files. A Nightmare."
Sarah went on to explain the details of how you get what you pay for.
"In my estimation Bluehost is well worth the money. By the way, I blogged about the ordeal--I'm a blogger, right? You can read about my recommendations for WordPress security here: "Hackers, Bots, Bluehost, and Me."
Enjoy more of Sarah Corbett Morgan at her blog, where you'll also see her amazing photography.