Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Dark Matter: Artificial, the IWSG Anthology Contest, and Free Book Publishing Webinars

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question: Has any of your readers ever responded to your writing in a way that you didn't expect? If so, did it surprise you?

I’m trying to think of specifics but it’s been a while. I know there has been some inspired fans of both my fiction and non-fiction. I wasn’t surprised though, as my non-fiction IS inspirational and the slogan for my fictional series is “Get inspired to achieve your dreams.”


Dark Matter: Artificial
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Discover dark matter’s secrets…

What is an AI’s true role? Will bumbling siblings find their way home from deep space? Dark matter is judging us—are we worthy of existence? Would you step through a portal into another reality? Can the discoverer of dark matter uncover its secrets?
Ten authors explore dark matter, unraveling its secrets and revealing its mysterious nature. Featuring the talents of Stephanie Espinoza Villamor, C.D. Gallant-King, Tara Tyler, Mark Alpert, Olga Godim, Steph Wolmarans, Charles Kowalski, Kim Mannix, Elizabeth Mueller, and Deniz Bevan.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents, authors, and editors, these ten tales will take readers on a journey across time and space. Prepare for ignition!

Print ISBN 9781939844828 $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844835 $4.99
Science Fiction: Collections & Anthologies / Space Exploration / Genetic Engineering

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. A Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writers and The Write Life’s Best 100 Website for Writers.

Links: Dancing Lemur Press / Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / B&N / Goodreads

The next IWSG anthology contest opens today!

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 5000-6000
Genre: Sweet Romance
Theme: First Love
Submissions accepted: May 7 - September 1, 2021
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group. You must belong to at least one aspect of the IWSG to enter.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Dancing Lemur Press' imprint, Freedom Fox Press, next year in the IWSG anthology. (Please see their site for general submission guidelines.) Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

Free publishing webinars!

All of my NC community college seminars are virtual this year – they are free for anyone to attend! They come with a handout loaded with information.

If you’re nowhere near North Carolina, this is a great opportunity to attend a session.

May 11: Publishing 101 – Fayetteville CC

May 18: Publishing 102 – Fayetteville CC

May 12: Publishing 102 – Halifax CC

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, QuaranCon, and The PRO Act

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction and in four different genres, but I wouldn’t call that taking a risk. I also tend to keep my fiction fairly clean and don’t add controversial topics to the mix. Some authors are bigger risk takers, so I’m curious to see how others answer this question today.

As a publisher, I do notice when a story submission takes a bit of a risk, perhaps taking a genre or trope and turning it on its head. Big Red was that kind of story – Nazis on Mars? But it worked so well! Bloodwalker also had a unique storyline with a killer in a European circus. There is the chance that taking a risk means the story just doesn’t work or seem plausible, but sometimes it does work.

* * *

Dancing Lemur Press will be on a panel for Quarancon on April 10 at 12 pm EST.

The panel is Indie Flavours – Find Your Publishing Path: A panel talking about the pros and cons of starting out as a writer and the different incarnations of indie publishing. From small presses to imprints to going solo, what are the options for authors who want something different to the Big 5?

I'm also doing a reading prior to the panel at 11:30 am EST. 
DLP’s author Damien Larkin is on the panel immediately following ours – Writing Fight Scenes.
So is one of our IWSG anthology authors, Tyrean Martinson - she’s on a panel about disabilities in SF/F at 10am on April 11.

The con is April 8-12 and free to all – please join us!

* * *

And if you are a self-publisher, a book formatter, an illustrator, a freelance editor, etc. – this affects YOU! The PRO Act bill that Dems and Biden are pushing would eliminate the freelance position, making it a W-2 employee situation instead. This would affect millions of workers across America who rely on freelance work to pay the bills.

It wouldn’t impact Dancing Lemur Press, but it would impact me personally as I do freelance formatting, consulting, and speaking. And since many of those come from self-publishing authors, they are not about to mess with W-2 forms – which means a large chunk of my income is gone.

This will affect many of you, too. I hope you let your congressman/representative know that this bill is NOT acceptable in its current state.

Are you a risk-taker when writing?
Tuning in to QuaranCon?
And will you be affected by the PRO Act if it passes? 
Please note, this week is IBPA's Publishing University and since it is virtual, I am finally able to attend - but it kicks off Wednesday with a heavy schedule Thurs-Fri, so I might not be responding here those days.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group and What Genres Do You Read?

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Can I count the submissions I read? Those are sci-fi, fantasy, MG, YA, non-fiction, Christian, and some mystery/paranormal.

My writing genres haven’t matched up really well with my reading genres. I wrote a 5-books series that was YA at the time before NA came out and containing a bit of romance and sport. Those were not genres of choice to read at all. My current work is paranormal with also a hint of romance, and I have read just a little bit of that. However, my two non-fiction books, one of book publishing/promoting and one on motivation, most certainly line up with what I read – tons of publishing and self-help books.

However, I’ve learned from all the stories I’ve read through DLP that a good story is simply a good story.

A book about a ten year old set in 1969? Not my first choice, but Corners is one of the best books DLP has ever put out. (And I challenge any of you to pick it up – it never found its niche but it’s absolutely excellent and with an amazing voice.)

A YA story about a teen and the moon maidens he meets? What? But My Magic Summer comes out next February from DLP and I promise you will be charmed by the character, the setting of 1994, and the strong voice.

Now, I do like sci-fi, more along the lines of what Anne McCaffrey created, which was a blend of fantasy and light sci-fi. However, looking at the choices I’ve made over the years in sci-fi, most have been more military sci-fi: CassaStar and the series, Big Red, Revolution 2050… Had those stories not crossed my desk, I never would’ve discovered how much I liked military sci-fi.

So, take a chance on a new genre, new author, new book. You just never know.

And I am looking for tour hosts for two books - Dark Matter: Artificial, due out May 4 and Blood Red Sand, due out July 6. Please let me know if you can host the authors.

What do you like to read? Are you willing to take a chance on something new?