L is for Loss


L“Constants when they come home from war: Loss of Mission, Loss of Purpose, Loss of Camaraderie. “

“The longer you are in the more you see the mission as your self. Doing for others is your purpose. You are with your team on a purpose that means more than any of your own lives. Then you come home and it’s gone.”

“When you come home you start to wrestle with the questions you didn’t have time to think about while deployed.”

“Those who serve give up a large chunk of their civil rights to do so.”

-After the Guns go Silent Panel

K is for Knowledge

I apologize for digressing from my Norwescon info dump but I realized that writers, specifically Hollywood writers, do not possess any knowledge of how things actually work or if they do, they go out of their way to pretend they don’t. Let me paint you a picture.

I was in faKct working on a picture for my hubby’s upcoming birthday while more or less listening to reruns of CSI Miami. Yes, I know. It was not a good show but that’s all the better as it doesn’t distract me from what I’m really doing, painting the picture for my hubby. The basis of the episode is a guy kills his high school school bully because the guy wrapped him up in duct tape and stuck him in a locker. He even goes so far as to show these horrible scars worthy of full thickness burns to explain how much trouble the hospital had getting the tape off.

All I could think was, one good cross dresser could have save your ass. Baby oil my friend. Pour it on and it releases the adhesive. What makes me so sure? Used it. Both the tape (backless, strapless bride’s maid gown) and the baby oil to get it off, which I learned from the fabulously costumed cross dresser in the French Quarter.

Are you really going to tell me no one in that hospital knew that?

Not one writer on that show knew that?

They knew but it was better for the “plot” to play dumb.

Never pretend you don’t know what you do. Let it shine in your writing.

Ok I’ll make a playing dumb exception for imminent peril, but only for that. LOL

J is for Judgement


“Do not judge your worth based on another author’s popularity.”

“The inner voice that says ‘They’ll figure out I am a terrible writer,’ lives in all writers.”

“Write a novel a year for ten years and submit them everywhere; if at the end of ten years you aren’t selling – you might not be good enough.”

I is for Indie Publishing


-Use original I.jpgcover art. Try deviant art to find an artist or piece you like. Be sure to pay them for it, don’t steal(plagiarize). It’s rude and really bad karma.

-Use a professional editor, but have them do a test chapter before you sign on with one.

-Do conventions.

-Establish and maintain your brand.

-Identify your alpha fans and let them help you. Heck, beg them to help you.

-Your next book is your best marketing tool. You cannot over saturate your market.


-Level Up Your Self Publishing Skills Panel

H is for Hook

“Every Hthing should be designed to get the reader to the next step. The first sentence to the first paragraph, the first paragraph to the first page, the first page to the first chapter.”

“The problem with a shock opening is you either need to keep the book at that level the whole time or there will be a down dip. Intrigue is always a better choice than shock. Intrigue about a character or about the plot.”

“The hook has to be integral to the story but not give the story away.”

“Suspense is about what’s coming next, not about what’s going on now.”

“Do not require the reader to have read the story to understand the first line.”

-Catching Readers, Hook, Line, and Sinker Panel

G is for Good Feedback


“Writers will give you writer feedback. How they would have written it. Readers give you reader feedback, how they experienced reading your book.”

“Try to get better writers than you to beta your novel.”

“Careful with how much redrafting you do, you could be washing out the good stuff.”

How much editing to do? One author says “The story stays but the words change as I pump things up.” Another says “90% of my words stay but I am a slow perfectionist writer.”

-The Art of Writing it Again Panel

F is for Face (to launch a thousand sales)


“Originally the book cover was designed to sell the book to the book store, who judged solely on the cover whether to buy something for their store(s). Now, cover appeal is all about how it looks in a tiny square on Amazon.”

“If you are using a traditional publishing house, chances are your book cover will get art from the slush pile assigned to it. Few houses ask an author’s opinion on cover art until they make a name. The bigger the house, the less say you get.”

“A soulless picture on the cover is not going to connect to readers no matter how beautiful it is.”

“Europeans don’t like people on their covers. Consider a different cover for your European market.”

“Above all be true to the story and deliver what the cover promises.”

-Book Cover Hero(ines) Panel