Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tuesday Tidbits: LAST MEAL


Labor Day~A public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people, in the US and Canada on the first Monday in September, in many other countries on May 1.


You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about Labor Day the day after with a title of “LAST MEAL”.
 

Labor Day holds a special place in my heart. When I was young, Labor Day signified the beginning of the labor of school beginning for another year. Ugh.
 

But for more than thirty years now, it represents going into labor with my first child. Yep, I went into labor on Labor Day.
 

I had cooked a flavorful meal of pork chops, potatoes, and gravy. Though a rather simple meal, it tasted delectable. Soon after dinner, my body reversed the process and expelled the meal. Hence—LAST MEAL. Not as good the second time around. =0{
 

Since I couldn’t stop getting sick and transitioned into dry heaves, my hubby took me to the hospital. They gave me something to stop the convulsing and announced that I was in labor! Gives a new meaning to “labor” day. (And I wasn’t even due for nearly two weeks.) Then they sent me home, because I wasn’t far enough along. Argh!

My son was born at 5:55 pm on a Wednesday. Yep. Two days later. After forty-seven hours, I finally held my precious baby boy in my arms.
 

He is now expecting his third child in November. His oldest (a girl) will turn six this month and number two (also a girl) will be two and a half when their baby brother is born.



I am so proud of him. He's a great daddy!
 

And every Labor Day I smile.


THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (The Quilting Circle Book 3) #TheDamselsIntent #HistoricalRomance #FreeKU #KU #ChristianRomance
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
   Nicole Waterby heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband, not realizing women don’t wear trousers or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn. Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they’re not?

Free on Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 to buy ebook.



Book 1 THE WIDOW’S PLIGHT ~NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO!
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding Lily’s past cost her the man she loves? #TheWidowsPlight
Listen to it on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Widows-Plight-Audiobook/B088HJLH4J?qid=1592671960&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KDZ2GD836E7CMPGYX21F
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/1riJfrA
FREE Preview of the audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaUG-sN6Y_k 
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $4.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CV4XDLH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_XaM.DbMKBGBG1
#TheWidowsPlight

Book 2 THE DAUGHTER’S PREDICAMENT (Coming soon to audio)
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/4UXlRN5
Can a patient love win her heart? Or will a forced marriage be the end of her romantic dreams? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $3.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NQZVNWY/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_WcM.DbRBRKVQ9
#TheDaughtersPredicament

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides CollectionCourting Her Amish HeartThe Widow’s PlightCourting Her Secret Heart , “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , and Courting Her Prodigal Heart . 2019 titles include The Daughter's Predicament and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-five years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:


 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Tuesday Tidbits: PUBLISHER GUIDELINES OR CENSORSHIP?


Most all traditional publishers have a set a guidelines for authors to follow. These guidelines may have general things like genres and topics they publish to more specific ones they don’t want and even certain words, events, and naming church denominations that are taboo for them.

Some authors get very frustrated with the guidelines and rules of traditional publishers. They raise a fist in the air and cry, “Not fair! These restrictions are silly.”

I say a big huge NO! Their guidelines are NOT silly. And they ARE fair.

A traditional publisher shells out a lot of money to publish each book. They need to make that money back and more on each book to pay all of their overhead like editing, interior layout, formatting, cover design, marketing, utilities for their building, rent, paychecks for their employees. All of this before the book makes one penny. Then multiply all those costs times many books. So they have every right to say what they will publish and what they won’t.

Traditional publishers need to focus their resources on the types of books they know how to sell best. It doesn’t mean that books which fall outside their guidelines are wrong or not worth printing. They are targeting a particular audience. They have done market research to some degree and are aiming for their chosen market.

You wouldn’t go to a restaurant that had numbers from 1-10 on their menu and just pick a number without knowing what you are ordering.

 

“Is number 4 chicken or beef?”
“You’ll just have to order it to find out.”
Or if a menu had four choices; beef, chicken, pork, and fish. A person would obviously want to know what kind of chicken they are ordering; fried, baked, grilled, nuggets, cordon bleu, etc. Does that come with potatoes, pasta, or rice? Salad, corn on the cob, or steamed veggies?
“Order it and find out. It’ll be a surprise.”

We would say no thank you. We aren’t going to pay our hard earned money on mystery meat and surprise sides. Also, a restaurant can’t offer every possible food choice. Restaurants specialize in various types: Italian, Chinese, Mexican, burger joint, etc. If I want a particular kind of food, I go to a restaurant that specializes in it.
 


Same with our reading choices. We want to know genre and a lot of readers want to know which nuances of that genre to expect. Maybe they prefer mysteries with police detectives and CSI teams solving the crimes rather than little old ladies or priests. All mysteries are not the same. All romances are not the same. Some readers have favorite settings or time periods. God made us all different with different likes and dislikes.

Publishers, like authors, have a brand. Their readers learn what to expect. They are targeting a group of people they have learned they can sell to. They know they can sell more books in certain genres with certain elements. We wouldn’t expect a children’s-picture-book-only publisher to contract our nonfiction self-help book. Or a Christian fiction publisher to publish our one on computer coding.

Each publisher can’t target everyone and publish every kind of book under the sun. Like restaurants that specialize in a particular kind of food, publisher specialize in different kinds of books. So it makes sense that they would focus on a particular audience so they can duplicate what they have done with one book to use on the next and next. That way they can work more efficiently with both time and money and refine their process. And make the most return on their investment.


Publishers develop a trust with their readers by giving them a certain kind of story. One of the first books I read from a particular Christian publisher years and years ago hit me all kinds of wrong. I didn’t enjoy the story. My brain said, if this is typical of the stories they publish, I'll look elsewhere. I’m obviously not in their target audience. I know not all their books would be like that one, but there are so many other publishers, with more and more all the time, that I haven’t gotten back to reading more of their books. I’m sure they have many I would enjoy.

What’s great about the age we live in is that if our story doesn’t fit a traditional publisher’s target audience, an author can self-publish and take on all those up front expenses themself.

If an author wants to change their story to reach a particular publisher’s target audience, they can do that. But if they don’t, it doesn’t make that story wrong, it simply doesn’t fit that particular publisher. There are so many choices.

Bottom line: Publisher guidelines are not censorship nor unfair, just good business for them.

Each author must decide what is right for them and their story, and where God is leading them.

HAPPY WRITING!



THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (The Quilting Circle Book 3) #TheDamselsIntent #HistoricalRomance #FreeKU #KU #ChristianRomance
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
   Nicole Waterby heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband, not realizing women don’t wear trousers or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn. Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they’re not?

Free on Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 to buy ebook.



Book 1 THE WIDOW’S PLIGHT ~NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO!
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding Lily’s past cost her the man she loves? #TheWidowsPlight
Listen to it on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Widows-Plight-Audiobook/B088HJLH4J?qid=1592671960&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KDZ2GD836E7CMPGYX21F
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/1riJfrA
FREE Preview of the audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaUG-sN6Y_k 
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $4.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CV4XDLH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_XaM.DbMKBGBG1
#TheWidowsPlight

Book 2 THE DAUGHTER’S PREDICAMENT (Coming soon to audio)
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/4UXlRN5
Can a patient love win her heart? Or will a forced marriage be the end of her romantic dreams? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $3.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NQZVNWY/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_WcM.DbRBRKVQ9
#TheDaughtersPredicament

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides CollectionCourting Her Amish HeartThe Widow’s PlightCourting Her Secret Heart , “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , and Courting Her Prodigal Heart . 2019 titles include The Daughter's Predicament and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-five years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tuesday Tidbits: Q&A GETTING TO KNOW ME

I have been asked various questions over my 20+ writing career, some about writing and a lot not. I thought maybe I would cover some fun ones here.

Q: What is my favorite writing snack?
A: Fresh fruit. This summer I’ve been enjoying cherries, raspberries, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and many others. But no watermelon. At age five, I ate too much of it too fast and got sick all over the front porch. Since then, I haven’t been able to eat it. Though I love watermelon flavored candy.



Q: What is the first thing I remember writing?
A: A story for creative writing in third grade. There were little people living in the grass and something about a lawnmower being started. No, it wasn’t a horror story. I can’t remember if the little people were trying to leave in time or communicate with the lawnmower wielding person or trying to sabotage the lawnmower. One way or another they were going to be safe.

Q: What is my least favorite part of being an author?
A: Social media and marketing. They drain the life out of me and suck me dry. They are like black holes I can’t see my way through. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

Q: How has my relationship with God impacted my writing journey?
A: Without God I wouldn’t be a writer. I’m dyslexic, so reading has always been a challenge for me. I couldn’t spell my way out of a wet paper bag if my life depended on it and SpellCheck has just about given up on me. We moved around a lot (no, not military), and different school districts teach things in different grades so I missed things when it came to English. Going down a list of qualities for a writer, I ain’t got none. But this is what God has called me to do. So for me, writing is a God thing.

Q: If one of my books got turned into a movie I would...
A:… do a happy dance, explain to my hubby why I’m wildly dancing, call my children and my mother and my sisters and my friends.



Q: What is a strange/random fact about me?
A: Um . . . I’m random, not ADD, but random. I usually write my stories out of order. I’ll write chapter 1 and 2 and maybe 3, then jump to the end and write the last chapter, and then splatter bits and pieces in the middle. Start a thread in one chapter and continue with all the following scenes that relate to that thread that will be scattered throughout the story so I can have continuity in the thread. And yes, I may need to rewrite those scenes when the rest of the story catches up to them, but by putting them down, my characters stop nagging me to not forget this or that. Characters can be so demanding. =0)

Q: What is my favorite place to write about and why?
A: I love writing about my home state, Washington State. There are so many interesting places here. We have everything from rainforest type conditions on the Olympic Peninsula to arid desert. We have weird wacky happenings that are interesting to write about. I love learning about and then writing about quirky things in history.

Q: Do my kids love books too?
A: Yes, they do. They also like to write and come up with some great story ideas.



Q: If I wasn’t an author I would...
A: … be a craft teacher. I love all sorts of crafts and enjoy helping others make things. Sewing, quilting, porcelain doll making, crocheting, knitting, junk journals, and so many new things I’ve learned on YouTube. So much to create, so little time.

QUILTING CIRCLE Series
Book 1 THE WIDOW’S PLIGHT ~NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO!
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding Lily’s past cost her the man she loves? #TheWidowsPlight
Listen to it on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Widows-Plight-Audiobook/B088HJLH4J?qid=1592671960&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KDZ2GD836E7CMPGYX21F
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/1riJfrA
FREE Preview of the audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaUG-sN6Y_k 
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $4.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CV4XDLH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_XaM.DbMKBGBG1
#TheWidowsPlight

Book 2 THE DAUGHTER’S PREDICAMENT (Coming soon to audio)
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/4UXlRN5
Can a patient love win her heart? Or will a forced marriage be the end of her romantic dreams? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $3.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NQZVNWY/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_WcM.DbRBRKVQ9
#TheDaughtersPredicament

THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (The Quilting Circle Book 3) #TheDamselsIntent #HistoricalRomance #FreeKU #KU #ChristianRomance
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
   Nicole Waterby heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband, not realizing women don’t wear trousers or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn. Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they’re not?

Free on Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 to buy ebook.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides CollectionCourting Her Amish HeartThe Widow’s PlightCourting Her Secret Heart , “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , and Courting Her Prodigal Heart . 2019 titles include The Daughter's Predicament and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-five years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday Tidbits: DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

   After more than thirty books published, I’ve had the honor of having my first one put on audio format. Not the first book of mine that was published. It’s the first book in my Quilting Circle series.


   It has been interesting to go through the process. Because my Quilting Circle series is published through a small publisher, I have had a lot of input into things like the covers and now the audio version.
   First step was to find a narrator. We go through a site called ACX. I first needed to find a narrator. My publisher put up my novel as accepting auditions. I checked boxes for what I’m looking for in a narrator. Because I write romance, I felt a female voice would work best. I checked voice and style type. I needed a narrator with a general American voice; no distinct accent. I chose a storytelling type style. There were many other boxes I checked off as well. I can’t remember them now. This narrowed the list of possibilities from a gajillion to many thousands. We received a few auditions, but no one that really fit.
   So I went on the site and listened to a LOT of samples. Some had obvious hissing in the background, so I ruled those out, because I wouldn’t enjoy listening to a book with hissing. Others didn’t have the right voice or spoke to soft.
   I found a handful of narrators to start with that I liked what they had in their samples. I emailed them through the site and asked them if they would like to audition for my book. Some did and some didn’t.
   We decided on Pamela Gregory. My publisher sent her an offer, and she accepted. The next day, one of the other narrators I had asked to audition sent an audition. I had really liked her voice as well. We had to tell her sorry, but she could audition for one of my publisher’s other books that was open for auditions. I love Pamela’s cheerful voice and believe I have the right narrator. It was all in God’s hands.



   After that, the narrator records the first fifteen minutes or first chapter for approval. I listen to it while following along in the book for accuracy. I make notes of things that need to be fixed, whether it is an error in reading or how a portion is read. The narrator fixes those and sends a revised recording. Narrators don’t have re-record the whole chapter. They can simply record the sentence or portion in question, remove the bad copy, and slip in the new and improved portion in the appropriate place. It’s like magic to me. I wouldn’t have a clue as how to do that.
   Once the first bit is approved, the narrator records the rest of the book and usually sends a few chapters at a time. I listen to them as they come in and send my notes on what needs to be changed just like the first chapter.
   Then when all the chapters are approved, the project needs a producer. On ACX, a narrator is often also the producer. Mine is.
   Then the whole thing is uploaded to ACX for approval. A few weeks later, it is available for listening pleasure.
   The process was more interesting than it might have been because my daughter is a narrator/producer on ACX. She has always been very good at reading aloud. You may be wondering why she isn’t my narrator/producer. She is branding herself as a fantasy narrator, and I write Christian romance. If she didn’t already have fantasy projects she was reading for, she would have considered it. But it was more than a single book commitment. My publisher prefers to have the same narrator/voice for an entire series. It was fun talking to her about the process from her end.
   We just finished recording book two, which will be available in a few weeks, and we’ll start recording book three very soon.


   I love having some of my books as audio versions. I love this series and am so excited it’s going to be available in audio.


Book 1 THE WIDOW’S PLIGHT ~NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO!
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding Lily’s past cost her the man she loves? #TheWidowsPlight
Listen to it on Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Widows-Plight-Audiobook/B088HJLH4J?qid=1592671960&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=KDZ2GD836E7CMPGYX21F
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/1riJfrA
FREE Preview of the audio book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaUG-sN6Y_k 
A single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $4.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CV4XDLH/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_XaM.DbMKBGBG1
#TheWidowsPlight

Book 2 THE DAUGHTER’S PREDICAMENT (Coming soon to audio)
FREE Preview of eBook: http://a.co/4UXlRN5
Can a patient love win her heart? Or will a forced marriage be the end of her romantic dreams? Get it here for FREE on Kindle Unlimited or Kindle to buy for $3.99 or paperback for $12.99: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NQZVNWY/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_WcM.DbRBRKVQ9
#TheDaughtersPredicament

THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (The Quilting Circle Book 3) #TheDamselsIntent #HistoricalRomance #FreeKU #KU #ChristianRomance
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
   Nicole Waterby heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband, not realizing women don’t wear trousers or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn. Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they’re not?

Free on Kindle Unlimited, or $2.99 to buy ebook.

#ChristianRomance #HistoricalRomance #Romance

MARY DAVIS s a bestselling, award-winning novelist of over two dozen titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her 2018 titles include; "Holly and Ivy" in A Bouquet of Brides CollectionCourting Her Amish HeartThe Widow’s PlightCourting Her Secret Heart , “Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , and Courting Her Prodigal Heart . 2019 titles include The Daughter's Predicament and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over thirty-five years and two cats. She has three adult children and two incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:

Tuesday Tidbits: LAST MEAL

Labor Day~A public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people, in the US and Canada on the first Monday in September, in ...