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Reading, A Valuable Tool for Writers

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a fantastic Monday. Today I’m guest blogging at Kinley Baker’s! I’m talking about making a plan as well as my new release Jungle Heat. Stop on over when you have the chance!

First posted June 26, 2011 at The Speculative Salon.

I’m sure we’ve all read an interview with a talented author and skimmed down to the bottom where she gives tips for aspiring authors. Advice from one of the best? Heck yeah, I’m taking it! But then, what you see is that writers should write, write, write and read, read, read. Hmm… Not what was necessarily expected. Writing, that’s an obvious one. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. But what about reading?

Reading is a good way to take in what other authors have done craft and story-wise and see what worked and what didn’t work for them. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I didn’t give it much time. I had other things to do… like write, socialize, watch TV, etc!

Last year, I challenged myself to read more and stick to my goal. Happily, I did! At the beginning of the year, I found it was easier to read a book without looking too deeply at the writing craft, but as the year progressed, it was easier to see what the writer did well or not and how I could improve myself even more.

Basically, when you’re sitting there slaving away on honing your craft by writing your next book and reading a ton of writer’s reference books — you are, right? — give yourself permission to step back and go read. Aside from being fun, you might find your writing skill improving!

Stephen King said in his book On Writing, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

If you have been reading, do you think it’s helped? If you haven’t, what’s stopping you?

New Interview + Last day for Giveaway

Hey everyone! Just a quick post to give you the heads up that today is the last day for the giveaway. Details are…

I’m doing a giveaway of one (maybe two depending on how many comments I get this week) of your choice of either Techno Crazed or Jungle Heat if you leave a comment. You’ll get one extra entry for each of the following, follow the blog, follow my Twitter @sarahmakela, and Tweet or Retweet. (Please let me know in the comment, if you do the extra entries.) I’ll pick the winner(s) tomorrow!

Also, I talked about the interview I’ll be doing with Marsha A. Moore yesterday, well… it’s now posted! So make sure to hop on over to her blog… http://marshaamoore.blogspot.com/2011/08/great-interview-with-author-sarah.html

So, to leave you guys with something to comment on. How about this… What’s your favorite genre to read?

RWA Nationals Conference Highlights

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Kinley Baker, me, and Lisa Kessler

I thought about doing a recap of what I’d done at the conference, but that’d take a while, and I’m not sure it’d be an interesting read. So here’s a list of some of the highlights from the Romance Writers of America National Conference I went to last week in New York, in no particular order.

+ Flying First Class because my husband is really sweet. I’d never traveled First Class except once as an unaccompanied minor since there was room, but that’s not really the same thing. I had some wine on the flight, and boy, is it easy to get a buzz at high altitudes!

+ Arriving at the hotel from the shuttle and seeing how huge and pretty darn awesome it is.
+ Going to the hotel room and laying on the soft sofa and then bed. Man, I want one of each of those! Plus, we had an awesome view of Times Square from our window.
+ Having my First Sale ribbon and people I meet congratulating me. That was pretty exciting.
+ Meeting up with my critique partners Kinley Baker and Lisa Kessler. It was awesome to see them face to face and talk. I saw Kinley at last years RWA in Orlando, so it was great seeing her again, but I hadn’t met Lisa before, so that was really nice too.
+ Being surprised after putting some pens in the Goody Room to find out that they’ve actually all been taken a little while later. If you’ve find my website through one of my pens, let me know!
+ Sherrilyn Kenyon’s speech during one of the luncheons. It brought most (if not all) of the table I was sitting at to tears. She is so inspiring, and I love that she’s from Tennessee. *grins* Since I am too.
+ Doing pretty well on the pitches I’d signed up and not sounding like a complete blabbering idiot.
+ Going to several very interesting and informative workshops!
+ The hotel’s room service was delicious, and I enjoyed spending time with my husband who went with me (and caught up on his sleep a lot).
+ Having drinks with my husband in The View, which is a rotating restaurant and lounge on top of the hotel where you can see all sorts of tall buildings including The Empire State building. That was really nice.
+ And finally, having a safe, uncomplicated trip home.
Did you go to RWA Nationals? If so, what were your highlights? If not, are you going next year?

Blog Tour + Newsletter

So, with my book Techno Crazed coming out in two weeks, I’m going on tour. A blog tour that is. Here’s my list of stops. I’d love to see you there!

6/3: Savvy Authors
6/6: Goddess Fish Promotions Monthly Release Party
6/9: RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter
6/13: Gabriella Hewitt
6/14: Julia Rachel Barrett
6/15: Interview @ Clancy Metzger
6/15: Darcy Drake
6/16: Castles & Guns + Giveaway
6/17: Interview @ Kelly Whitley
6/17: Romance Reader at Heart + Giveaway
6/17: Fang-tastic Books
6/20: Kinley Baker
6/21: Bella Street
6/22: Marilyn Wigglesworth
6/23: Release Party @ The Romance Studio
6/26: The Speculative Salon

Also, I’ll be sending out my newsletter on 6/24. If you’re interesting in the chance to win a copy of Techno Crazed (or you just want to find out more about what I’m doing) make sure to sign up below!

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RT convention

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here. Too long! Wow… A while back, I posted that I’d be attending Romantic Times convention in Orlando, FL. This week (Tuesday-Sunday) was it. There’s so many things that happened, and just the fact that it was my first convention (related to writing) I’d ever been to, I was a little overwhelmed. After a day or two, I started coming down from being so wide-eyed by all of the people and events.

I went to some great workshop/panels on Urban Fantasy and the various other ones they had like Blogging your way to Self-Promotion with J.A. Konrath. That one helped me a lot since I have a blog, but I’m still trying to get the hang of blogging on a regular basis. It was more easy to blog with The Deadly Vixens because I had a set day each week and a basic idea on what topic I’d write about. I think after going to that, I have a better grasp of how to make things work for me though.

I’ll write more about RT in the coming days, and post pictures from the convention that I took, which I’m excited about. Woohoo! Now I need to get back to my novel, which had a few requests. *big grin*

A nice way to start the morning…

I found out this morning that an excerpt to my novel, Melody of Love, has been posted on eCataromance. Hooray! Promo opportunity! Check it out yourself at http://www.ecataromance.com/?p=917

Also, I noticed that Gracen and I received several good comments yesterday on the interview that we did with Keta Diablo. So I’m definitely starting to get myself out there more, which was one of my goals for this year. =)

Contest Winners Announced!

Hi everyone, yesterday I sent out mailing list. Congrats to Cherie and Amy “sha_amie” for each winning a Sterling silver treble clef necklace and an autographed bookplate. Next month’s prize will be an ebook copy of my novel Melody of Love, so make sure to subscribe to my mailing list for your chance to win.

Also, check out my blog tomorrow at The Deadly Vixens http://deadlyvixens.blogspot.com/ on this week’s topic of Reincarnation. Hope to see you there! Make sure to leave me a comment and enter the contests each day this week since we are having a week of prizes!

Updates

Hi everyone! I’m still alive! *grins* Finals week is next week and I’ve been dealing with all of the end of term papers that go along with that. I do have some exciting updates! Today I finished editing one of my novellas, NotT. I’m planning on submitting it as soon as I get my edits into the computer and my CPs have time to get it back to me. Hooray!

I’m so excited that Supernatural is back on tonight! Woohoo! I so love that show!

Tomorrow I’ll be blogging at The Deadly Vixens. Make sure to go over and leave me a comment.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for the mailing list, make sure to do so before the 30th as I will be announcing the winner of this month’s prize for signing up for the mailing list that will occur monthly that day here on my blog, and then sending out my first newsletter on May 1st (also announcing the winner there) with an excerpt from my newly edited novella and more! =)

Coffee Time Romance Launch Party

I invite you to be part of my Launch Party today!

event: Launch Party
date: April 13, 2008 09:00PM EST
location: Coffee Time Romance, http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Chat.html
description: Come join me for my Launch Party. All who attend will be given a small thank you gift, and three people will win prizes in the giveaway! =)

Hi everyone! Today was my guest blogging day at Michelle Pillow’s blog…. http://www.michellepillow.com/blog. Also, tomorrow I will post a flash fiction story at The Deadly Vixens’ author blog, so make sure to check it out! http://www.deadlyvixens.blogspot.com/ It was a lot of fun to write and paranormal. Woohoo!

Things have been busy around my household. Also busy with writing related things. I have gotten 1.5 pages edited on my current WIP, which isn’t the best, but it’s fairly good. Not too much else I can think of right now! It’s bedtime! =)

‘Night