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ESTABLISHING A WRITER’S PLATFORM by Nonnie Jules


It’s my delight to have author Nonnie Jules here today to celebrate her Blog’s (WATCH NONNIE WRITE!) Birthday. Nonnie is also the founder and president of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. Readers and writers, if you’re not a member of this amazing book club yet, it’s time to jump on board. Nonnie Jules is here today to talk about Establishing a Writer’s Platform. Take us away, Nonnie…

New Book Club & You're Invited!

Today is the first day of my 15 day “HAPPY BIRTHDAY: ARE YOU WATCHING NONNIE WRITE?” Blog Tour and I’m kicking it off with a very supportive lady whose passion for children is equal to mine. Bette, thank you for having me and I hope that you and your guest enjoy me sharing the happy birthday.

This month marks the one year anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books, and have learned so very much about the industry. Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013. Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot! “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge. “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry. “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I share with you tips on writing, publishing and support, all topics equally important to the writing industry. I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

With that being said, here is…

ESTABLISHING A WRITER’S PLATFORM

We, as writers, write and blog about many different things. We blog about our family and friends, exercise, politics and even the food we eat. But, unless you’re a family therapist, a fitness guru, a politician or a foodie, none of these are your platforms UNLESS they are all you speak about, the majority of the time.

Many writers pop onto the scene and want the world to know them as being “good in everything” and although there is a strong possibility that they are, readers don’t care to know this. Readers want to think that they are reading material from EXPERTS, and in the minds of most, we can’t be EXPERTS at everything. So then, you need to establish a writing platform.

I actually have two main platforms and they are CHILDREN & SUPPORT (although I must admit that I’m pretty good at writing about a multitude of things). If you were to mention my name to any number of people and ask: “What is her platform?” They would, nine times out of ten, give you the two that I’ve just mentioned, and in the exact order that I mentioned them. WHY? Because these two areas are what I write about, talk about and live the most.

So, if you’re not already, I’d like for you to watch me write as I will continue to offer more tips to help you begin establishing your writer’s platform. (My blog links are listed below). What is it that you’re most passionate about? What is the one thing you’re actually KNOWN for? That could very easily serve as the medium you need to establish your credibility with your new-found platform.

Bette, thanks so much again for having me!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nonnie Jules BookNONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection.

NJ Cover Design-1-1

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniewrites@yahoo.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.
BUY LINKS:

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!amazon.com/dp/B00CP62056createspace.com/4355124
“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend”amazon.com/dp/B00GLM2VVMcreatespace.com/4386308

“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4

 

 

 

 

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Angelia Vernon Menchan shines brightly in THE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!


It is a pleasure to host author Angelia Vernon Menchan as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR at 4writersandreaders blog this week. Angelia is currently featuring two books from her SOUL TIES DUO. You’ll find out more about them at the end of her post. So, sit back, relax and travel along with the author as she shares how her writing journey began. Welcome Angelia Vernon Menchan!

Angelia Vernon Menchan’s Publishing Journey, The Beginning Chapters

Angelia Mechan

Angelia Vernon Menchan, author of THE SOUL TIES DUO: “Soul Ties are real and life lasting so choose ‘who’ carefully.”

My journey to publishing has been an interesting blessing. My goals in life were always to be a counselor and author. By age 36 I had accomplished the counseling, however, the author journey would not begin until almost fourteen years later unless you count the yearbook articles.

My early adult years were filled with traveling with my military husband, raising our sons and creating careers for myself. Writing at that time would not have worked for me because I knew it would have taken my focus off things that were more important, my family. That is only indicative of my life and everyone must choose what works best for them and how.

However in 2004 when my youngest started college I started writing and the stories flowed like lava from a busted volcano. Many I gave away, others I entered in online contests and got favorable reviews. But actually publishing did not occur to me until I wrote an eighteen page short story that really excited people, that story has spawned eight full length books and as many short story spinoffs. The writing journey began by simply writing and deciding without any advice to publish. (This isn’t recommended for the faint of heart.)

For four months I wrote fast and furiously and decided to vanity publish after some research. I know, I know, but seeking a publisher never crossed my mind. I started my first business at thirteen so “do it myself” worked for me. Anyway I plunked down my five hundred dollars and my baby, Black’s Obsession was born. I was an author! Ha, hold up, wait a minute. No I wasn’t, I was a writer who had thrown together a book and gotten it in print. I joined yahoo groups and it didn’t take long before I was disabused of my notions of being a real author. I actually received 3s and 4s as reviews but it was clear it was sloppy and many made no bones about saying it, not necessarily to me but I heard it loud and clear. Instead of being offended, I listened and made some changes. But before that could fully occur a strange thing happened, local readers paid their fifteen dollars and loved the book. There were components that they especially loved, such as an African-American man who completely loved a woman and didn’t care who knew it and was as flawed as could be but loved his community and was about positive growth. That heartened me enough to continue because with all of its flaws the books were selling, I was being invited to book clubs and events and was having conversations with readers about my work. I just knew I had work to do and was willing to do it.

I incorporated my company, MAMM Productions, started surrounding myself with those who were honest and supportive at the same time. By that I mean, they assisted me but didn’t fool me into thinking I had all the answers. I hired a publicist and those who could whip my books into shape and I was on my way. I also have an aside, which is probably most helpful to new authors, once you accept that not everyone is going to support your work and that every book isn’t for every reader, you have covered a major hurdle in your life. Please accept that if nothing else.

For the next several months while working on my second book I had to make changes. Online was not working for me, it was too much talking and pontificating, so I decided there was no way I would spend my time like that. I was an African-American writer with African-American stories living in a city with 350 thousand African-Americans! It was time to take my show on the road. From 2007 to 2010 I published eight books and traveled my state and the surrounding states selling my work and gaining readers and relationships. I barely went online during that time, that wasn’t my focus or my concern. When I first knew this was working for me was going to The Zora Neale Hurston festival, people bought my second book, Love Stories of People I Have Known and they also took my card and soon after started calling me. It was rejuvenating and encouraging.

Of my travels another mission was born, many found me a storyteller and funny and soon I was being asked to not only show up and sell books but people were actually asking me to talk about the things I was writing about, including teen issues, mentoring, marriage, community involvement and the list goes on. I was no longer a writing publisher, I had become something else that continues to bless my life and my writing work. While on the road, I sold a lot of books but I grew weary. It was exhausting considering I still had a very demanding career as a Budget Analyst. In my next segment of my publishing journey I would like to talk about bringing my career back online and learning to change when change is needed.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR and her many books at Angelia’s Amazon Author Page

THE SOUL TIES DUO  “Sex is not qualified to do the work of love, it just isn’t.”

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Visit Angelia’s blogs:

 

Follow Angelia Vernon Menchan’s RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT TOUR all week at http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

 

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Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Bette A. Stevens


Bette A. Stevens:

A few thoughts on writing and a NEW VERY SHORT STORY from me to you! READ IT HERE… ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Cultural Cocktails:

BAS Star copy

(Please join me in welcoming Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author – Bette A. Stevens!)

*****

As a save-everything-I’ve-ever-written-writer I put together a short story for you. During a brief three year jaunt along my journey as a writer (1995-1997), I kept a special journal to document what we still refer to as our California Vacation. I’m taking a small section from my journal to rewrite for this post. Our 2014 winter in Central Maine has been brutal. We still have over a foot of frozen snow in the back field. It’s been a long and bitter New England winter. A trip back in time to bask in the California sun sounds pretty soothing to this Mainer right now. So here we go.

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Solar Fever…

A short memoir by Bette A. Stevens © 2014

It was hard to believe we were leaving as we headed southwest in our 1988…

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How to Avoid the Dreaded Dialogue Tag


Bette A. Stevens:

Thanks for the great writing tips! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Writers In The Storm Blog:

by Laura Drake

medium_3281242614Okay, I admit it. I’m prejudiced against dialogue tags. Yes, I know they say, ‘He said/she said’ are invisible to the reader.

They’re not to me.

Even if you don’t share my pet peeve, why settle for something so boring? You write a sparkling line of dialogue, and slap ‘he said’ on the end? Why not continue the sparkle instead?

But first, a few rules of dialog you may or may not be familiar with:

1. The ONLY time you need a tag is if the reader wouldn’t know who was speaking otherwise. I’m always surprised by how many NYT authors have tons of unnecessary tags. If there is only a man and a woman in the scene, and someone says, “Excuse me, I have to go to the ladies room.” do you really need a tag? Many times the dialogue itself cues the reader.

2. Names.

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Get Fresh! Write the BEST Body Language with Margie Lawson


Bette A. Stevens:

Writers: A great post to check out!

~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Writers In The Storm Blog:

Margie LawsonBy Margie Lawson

 Big hugs to Laura Drake for inviting me to post at WITS today.

I love teaching writers how to create their best, best, best writing. Writing that draws the reader in so deep, that when the POV character’s heart races, the reader clutches their chest.

Best writing carries specificity and clarity. It carries nuanced power in its structure and style. It carries a compelling cadence in every sentence that drives the reader from the first word to the last.

Best writing cuts words that reader’s skim and adds words that increase power.

Writing body language and dialogue cues at the best level pushes writers beyond using at-the-ready basics and beat-fillers. Best writing doesn’t use words and phrases that are predictable, overused, clichéd. Best writing is fresh writing.

Writers Need to be Kinesics Specialists

Writers need to be experts at reading body language, experts at writing nuanced…

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Inspiration for Writers


Bette A. Stevens:

Inspirational! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Originally posted on Jen's Thoughts:

Stormy weather on a city streetWriting is hard work! When we think we’ve got it figured out an editor or trusted friend lets us know there are still plot holes. Maybe we realize we left out key elements, missed tying up a loose end, or we just put our head on our desk and stay there the rest of the day. Here’s some encouragement, keep writing and don’t give up!

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose. - Stephen King

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. - Ernest Hemingway

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. - Ernest Hemingway

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. —Ernest Hemingway

A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his…

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265. Of the six million species on the planet, only man makes language. Words. What’s more — in evidence of the Divine — we string symbols together and then write them down, where they take on a life of their own and breathe outside of us. ~Charles Martin


Bette A. Stevens:

Ode to writers everywhere… Thank you, Natalie Scarberry at Sacred Touches blog. Your posts never cease to inspire! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Sacred Touches:

Image

I write because there is nothing larger in life than
To be read, maybe even reread by another–
To be examined and then verified of being
Understood, or trusted like a saint–
I don’t imagine being immortalized
Or stacked in a library for hands with a million
Oppositions to wander through for
Poetic justice either–

Perhaps purpose is purchased or earned or even
Inherited by some mystic right–
But it is my reasoning I hearken to,
All that I am resonates with inscribing, putting down
My Self on the papyrus of today,
Like a manuscript never quite decrypt but
Interesting to the soul’s eye
For perpetual encounter.
~Deborah Jeanne Avila

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord for they have heard the words of your mouth.  Psalm 138:4  ✝

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How to write a novel in 30 days!


NOVEMBER WAS NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH

THANK YOU NaNoWriMo and my writing buddies for helping me meet the challenge of writing a novel in 30 days!

2013 Accomplishment

ON NOVEMBER 27th, 2013, the draft of my upcoming debut novel reached more than 55,000 words as I finished writing the final chapter. If there are any writers or want-to-be writers out there who haven’t finished , or perhaps haven’t started, writing their stories yet, I highly recommend committing to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. You’ll find plenty of support and encouragement both online and through regional group write-ins.

For more information on how to sign up and commit to write your own novel in 30 days next November, check out http://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works

Here’s what my draft looked like at the end of the day on November 27, 2013. Since then, I’ve taken a holiday break. Come January, I’ll be reading, writing & editing my draft over and over before having a professional editor take a look-see… Winter here in Maine is a great time for all of that inside work. I’ll get in a little snowshoeing on warm (30+), sunny days and catching up on all the books I still have on my TO READ LIST, too. Have a wonderful winter. ~ Bette A. Stevens, author of PURE TRASH, The Story (the short story prequel to my upcoming debut novel)…

The CreateSpace  (an Amazon affiliate for indie-authors and self-publishers) photo above was posted on my Facebook feed. The version you see, has been adapted by me for this blog post. I have self-published all three of my books using CreateSpace and recommend that you check them out if you’re considering self-publishing.

You can find my books—AMAZING MATILDA; PURE TRASH, The Story and THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO!  at http://www.Amazon.com/author/betteastevens

First draft of PURE TRASH, The Novel (working title) for Bette's first novel planned for release in 2014.

First draft of PURE TRASH, The Novel (working title) for Bette’s first novel planned for release in 2014.

Sign up for Bette’s FREE Email Updates at http://eepurl.com/t-7JP

Wacky Sentences Handwriting Workbook by Julie Harper


Bette A. Stevens:

GREAT FOR KIDS of all ages… Demystify ‘Cursive Writing’. As a retired teacher, grades 4-8, most of my students had no idea what it was about, so I wrote my name, date and a variety of other info. on board. We also did a Quicky Cursive Coarse (mine/not published) so the kids could read my writing. Yes, I always wrote to them in cursive! HAPPY HANDWRITING! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Green Embers:

Indie Book Blast!

Sales Pitch!

Need a creative way to engage your children to practice handwriting or printing skills? These wacky workbooks are designed to do just that. Instead of just copying boring words, phrases, or sentences, let your kids read, trace, and copy wacky phrases or sentences. Available for printing or cursive handwriting practice:

Want something that’s just fun? This makes a great holiday gift:

Also, check out Julie Harper’s “not wacky” workbooks:

The discount code E37D7HDZ gets you an amazing 35% discount at CreateSpace now thru December 10. This discount code applies to all 9 of Julie Harper’s writing…

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DEBUT NOVEL… I finished the draft!


I did it! This is my first NaNoWriMo and my first novel. The challenge was to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days during the month of November. Well, this is Day 27 and I just wrapped up the first draft. I am working towards a publication date of Spring 2014. I invite you to follow my blog and sign up for Bette’s Email Updates (right column of this blog) for updates and excerpts as the journey to writing my debut novel continues. You can read an excerpt of the novel’s prequel, PURE TRASH, The Story at the top of this blog. Happy reading. ~ Bette A. Stevens
2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover“Debut novel will take you on an American adventure you will never forget.”

PURE TRASH, The Novel (Coming—Spring 2014)
The Adventures & Coming of Age of Shawn Daniels: A poor boy growing up in rural New England in the 1950s and ’60s.
by Bette A. Stevens

Description: If you grew up in the 1950s and the 1960s, you may be among those who recall those good old “Happy Days” of television fame.  Poverty and prejudice were generally ignored or simply acknowledged as existing in third-world countries during this time in American history when a new middle-class was burgeoning. But poverty and prejudice were sitting right in front of us, in towns and cities all across this great land. The 1960s is a time when racial tension abounded, the Vietnam conflict was heating up and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It was a time when Americans were planning trips to the moon. And, it was a time in America when the poor were ignored.

For Shawn Daniels, growing up during this time of plenty was far from happy. Shawn’s life is one that few Americans are aware of now, or acknowledged at the time. Shawn’s dad is the town drunk, the family has no running water or indoor plumbing, but they do get a TV.  With few of life’s necessities or its perks, Shawn learns to make the best of what he does have. Poverty and prejudice are just two of  the themes in Shawn’s story. This novel will take you on an American adventure you will never forget.

PURE TRASH, The Novel is the complete package for PURE TRASH, The Story (August 2012, Amazon) –a short story adventure that highlights bullying, class division, prejudice and poverty in rural New England. PURE TRASH, The Novel opens with Shawn leaving high school to join the U.S. Army in 1964. The storyline follows Shawn’s life from age four to age 18 when he sets out on a new adventure carrying with him the hope for a future far better than the past he is leaving behind.

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