The Myth of Synonyms

Precise verbs are important to every great book, be it fiction or non-fiction. In fact, where preciseness is concerned I can say that about nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and . . . Okay, all parts of speech.

During the draft process, you are focused on getting the ideas out of your head and into the computer. Don’t stop to struggle over a word choice during your draft. Hone in on your word choices when you start the revision.

Today, let’s take a look at 3 myths about choosing synonyms. [Read more…]

Linda Rooks’ Perseverance Leads to Success

I’m visiting today with author Linda Rooks who writes books for adults and children. Linda has a lot to share, so we’ll dive right in.

Linda, give us a bit of background on yourself.

Author Linda RooksMy writing journey began when I was in 6th grade. My teacher gave a writing assignment to the class. She liked what I wrote, had me read it to the class, and everyone laughed at the right places. I also read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott that year and loved it. I identified with Jo’s love of writing. At the end of the school year, when my teacher wrote in my autograph book that one day I would be a famous author, it clinched my life goal of wanting to be a writer.

My actual writing career didn’t begin until [Read more…]

ALL comments were removed; I’m livid.

comments removedYou spend time reading a blog post because the topic strikes a chord. You’re right there experiencing exactly what the blogger is talking about. You leave a comment along with a question that probes deeper into the topic.

The next day you visit the blog to see if anyone has replied to your question. But astoundingly enough, you discover your comment has been removed.

I’ve been reading other blogs and leaving comments for a long time. Sometimes the blogger replies, sometimes not. That doesn’t bother me, but this past week, the above scenario happened to me.

I left a comment with a legitimate question about the post topic. While I hoped for a reply, I was prepared not to receive one. I got worse than no reply. My comment was removed. And it wasn’t just mine; ALL comments were removed. (Tweet this.)

I’m livid. I feel a bit like I’ve been stabbed in the back. The topic of the post struck deep and was about a subject with which I am presently deeply struggling. Further, this blogger’s action makes me question the authenticity of the blogger’s commitment to the Christian principles the blog touts.

I realize this blogger may have a good reason for removing the comments; however, if that blogger prefers not to have comments on his/her blog, then why allow them to begin with?

Don’t alienate your readers by removing their honest comments from your blog. Instead, deactivate comments from your blog or for that particular post.

What does this rant have to do with marketing?

A large part of marketing is building relationships. What kind of relationships can you build if you never respond to or remove your readers’ comments?

Engaging with commenters creates relationship. They become potential buyers.

Certainly not all comments require an answer, and some comments are self-promotional spam. But what about those who resonate with the topic and ask a sincere question?

What’s your take? Has this ever happened to you? How did it make you feel about that blog/blogger?

The blogger in this case has lost my business.

(Did you miss my guest post on Book Marketing Visit here: “Are You Forgetting this Vital Step in Your Book Marketing Plan?”)

Writing Grants, Awards, and Contests

Grant Money

The SCBWI Book Launch Award (must be a member of SCBWI), entries submitted June 1 – July 1, 2015,
The SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators), offers several other grants for members. If you’re a children’s book writer, investigate membership.
If you haven’t visited FundsforWriters yet, be sure you do. It’s a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Website for Writers inner and offers links to several grants for writers among many other resources.


American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol Award, open to members only,
2016 Coretta Scott King Children’s Book Award,


Writer’s Digest offers a variety of contests. Their 84th Annual Writing Competition is now open with an early bird entry deadline of May 4. Check out all their contests here:
Crab Orchard Review annual contests,

For guidelines on determining the legitimacy of contests and awards, here are two resources: The Myths of Writing Contests,
Writing Contests: When Winners are Losers

16+ Free Online Resources for Doing Research for your Novel

doberman doing research on a laptopSo, your work in progress takes place in the 1800s … or maybe it’s a contemporary story, but one that is set in a region of the country you’re unfamiliar with. You know you’ve got a lot of research to do to make your story accurate and credible, but where do you begin? [Read more…]

9 Literary Agents Accepting Submissions

Looking for a Literary Agent?If you’re looking for literary agents, here are 9 from the top 50 agencies. Read what the agent accepts and then read and follow the agency’s submission guidelines before submitting. This will improve your chances of being read!

Many literary agencies also blog, offering insight into the publishing and literary agent world, as well as advice on the craft of writing. Check them out.

Related articles:

Is a Literary Agent the Pot of Gold for Writers?


What Writing Tool Has Helped You?

Tuesday’s writing tip has always been about learning the craft of writing.

We all learn in different ways—hands on, reading the manual, attending classes, etc. One of my goals for this year is to offer more options such as audio and video posts for those who learn auditorily or visually.

In the meantime—while I learn the technology involved—let’s discuss [Read more…]

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