Quick and Dirty Tips for Writing a Kick Butt Author Bio

One the most stressful parts about starting out as a writer was writing my author biography.  Making up worlds and characters somehow seemed much simpler than having to talk about ME.  I’m not all that interesting, that’s why I make interesting people up!  As someone who runs a review blog, I know the importance of a great author bio.  Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way as both an author and blogger that I think help make for a kick butt author bio.

1.  Give yourself time. 

Seriously.  Don’t try to do this in a night.  Rough draft that thing and let it simmer. Continue reading

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Dealing With Feedback and Critiques When All You Want To Do Is Duck And Hide

I recently had an experience that may be familiar to many of you. It is a moment we both look forward to  and dread.  When we get feedback and critiques back from contest judges, critique partners, beta readers, etc.  I have entered a few contests recently, and while I didn’t place, I did receive feedback and comments from the judges. I have also sent the first few chapters to two friends of mine, both of whom are published authors, and got comments and feedback from them as well. But surely I can’t be the only one who has such mixed feelings about getting feedback on your writing right? Continue reading

Cowboys & Knights: An Interview with Author Rue Allyn

Today we have author Rue Allyn visiting us in the Tearoom. I’m so excited to finally be interviewing a fellow writer from the Heart of Detroit, my home chapter of the Romance Writers of America!

Welcome, Rue!

TrueAndPerfectKnight-A300Jennelle and all of the Teatime Romance ladies, thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to share with your readers. I’m thrilled to be here and look forward to all of your comments.

Have you always been based in Michigan?

Well yes and no. I was born in Michigan and it’s been my state of residence for all but 13 years of my life (10 years in Delaware when I was a child and 3 in Florida as an adult). However, I also spent ten years in the US Navy, traveling the world while remaining a resident of Michigan.

You have two books that just came out, within days of each other: A True and Perfect Knight and One Day’s Loving. How do you cope with such tight release schedules? Do you sleep? Continue reading

What’s Your Measure of Success?

Here in the Tearoom we are all either self-published or aspiring authors. As such, I know we all think about “making it”. I mean, who doesn’t? In whatever field we’re in, whatever job we do, most of us have a dream of success.

I’ll admit to having grand fantasies of going on book tours and meeting adoring fans who’ve connected with my books in some personal way. I would love to sign books with a flourish and smile at the people as I shake hands and give hugs.

But these things don’t happen for many authors, much less self-published ones who are working on their own tiny budget and limited connections.

So what becomes the measure of “success” as an author? Continue reading

Working for a Miracle – A Life Lived According to Herb Brooks

“I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.” – Herb Brooks

Miracle

I have a not-so-secret love of sports movies.  The best ones combine real life sports stories with great acting and writing and become inspirational classics.  One of the absolute best examples of this is Miracle starring Kurt Russell.

Miracle is the true story of the 1980 USA Men’s Olympic Hockey team.  This was before the Olympics were made up of “dream teams,” and it was during a time when the Soviet machine trained athletes like they were soldiers. In fact, many on the Soviet hockey team actually were soldiers.  They’d been playing and training together for more than a decade.  They won nearly every game.  They didn’t just win.  They obliterated their opponents.  They were a shoe in for the gold medal every year, and the United States was getting beaten by the Czech B team.  The US Olympic committee wasn’t even looking to win a medal…and then Herb Brooks happened. Continue reading

The Brave New World of Audiobooks (Plus a Giveaway)

Heir to the EmpireWhen I was a geeky teenager I was in love with Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars Trilogy.  And by “in love” I mean unhealthily obsessed.  I really wanted my grandfather (FaFa) to be able to read them as he was one of the biggest influences on my reading life, but he had recently lost most of his eyesight.  So I set out to find the audiobook versions.  The good news was that they were narrated by the actor who played Wedge Antilles in the movies (Wedge was a character in these books as well).  The bad news was that they were abridged.  And by “abridged” I mean gutted.  Seriously, it was hardly the same story.  So what was totally geeky fourteen year old me to do?  Make my own audiobooks!  I took two tape recorders, my Star Wars soundtrack, and something like fifteen blank cassettes and read those darn things onto tape sound effects and all.  Sadly, I read AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT so I am not sure how much my poor FaFa got of the story, but I know he appreciated the effort and enthusiasm. Continue reading

What the Imagination Movers Taught Me About Self-Publishing

I have two little kids. This means I end up watching a lot of children’s television and listening to a lot of cds that include multiple versions of The Wheels on the Bus. This is generally painful. However, there is one children’s show I can be found watching even when my kids are off doing other things – The Imagination Movers.

Movers

They’re basically the most awesome thing ever: four guys from New Orleans who decided to put their musical skills to use as an “alt rock band for kids and their rockin’ families.” They don’t write “kiddie music,” they write damn good music that just happens to be for kids. And I buy their albums for me and just happen to let my kids listen to them, cause I’m cool like that. Continue reading