It’s Release Day!!

She’s here. She’s finally here. After all these weeks, mt baby, ICE GLADIATORS is now live. I can hardly believe it. Each book is special. Each release is special. But I’m telling you guys, this one is extra sweet. I listened to the readers for the story that you wanted told. Thank each of you so much for the inspiration, support, and faith.

#LIVE – “𝗔 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗢𝗿𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝗮 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲.” – Goodreads review

ICE GLADIATORS

#LIVE – “𝗔 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗢𝗿𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝘃𝗶𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗳 𝗮 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲.” – Goodreads review

Plus, check out book 1 for just #99c!

Available for order!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Lsg90b

All other links: books2read.com/icegladiators
Book 1 OUT OF THE PENALTY BOX: books2read.com/penalty

𝗢𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱, 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗷𝗼𝗿.
Dalek “Taz” Tazandlakova is the epitome of a hockey player—tall, broad, and powerful. As a forward for the Lafayette Ice Water Moccasins, he’s also the physical embodiment of domination and intimidation.
He’s everything Liam Jolivet isn’t.

Liam possesses an inner strength and confidence Taz has never mastered. On the surface, Liam appears to be a perfect match for Taz. The problem is, Liam is dating Taz’s roommate. It’s not the only problem, either. Taz is a “playa” and has commitment issues—along with a pain-in-the-ass coach who’s threatening to ruin his career, and a second roommate who wants to dictate his social life for his own personal gain.
Nevertheless, Taz wants Liam, and Liam appears to want to reciprocate. Do they dare cross the line?

GIVEAWAY: #Win this #GiftCard

http://bit.ly/2wd0E6Z

George Washington Cable, the tea

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of culture is “the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time; a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.: a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business)”. Characteristics such as music, food, language, dress/clothing, art, religion, traditions, and social norms may remain explicit in one specific culture. Culture plays an important role in the way people of that culture think and live their daily lives. It also influences their attitudes and beliefs. Culture helps shape a person’s behavior, thinking, and personality. Diversity may be the spice of life, but culture is the spice of diversity.

Recognizing the importance of culture provides individuals and communities an easy way to identify, locate, and connect with others who share similar values and mindset. Creole culture is rich and lengthy. Most notably, people recognize the culture for its food and music. However, Creole culture also made a mark in literature. Today, in Creole Bayou, I focus on an important figure in Creole literary history: George Washington Cable.

George Washington Cable was born to George W. Cable, Sr. and Rebecca Boardman Cable on October 12, 1844, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died on January 31, 1925, in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cable’s parents’ families had moved to Louisiana after the Louisiana Purchase and were wealthy members of New Orleans society. His father was from Pennsylvania and his mother from Indiana. George Sr. worked as a notary public, wholesale merchant, cotton speculator, and investor in steamboats. They also were slave owners. George Senior lost his wealth in bad investments and an economic downturn of the time, causing the family to struggle financially. When George Sr. died, George (the junior) was a teenager. He was forced to discontinue his private school education and find employment to help support the family. However, he continued to study on his own and taught himself the French language.

During the American Civil War, George served in the Confederate Army. He was nineteen years old when he enlisted as a private. While serving, he was shot in the arm. His time spent in the army, along with his extensive reading of the Bible, altered his views about the treatment of people of color and Louisiana society.

He contracted malaria/yellow fever struggled with the illness for two years. During that time, he began writing. In 1870, he began a career in journalism. George got his first writing job at the age of twenty-six. He secured a job with the New Orleans Picayune and worked at there from 1865 to 1879. Later, he was requested to submit stories to the Scribner’s Monthly. He eventually published six stories in the Scribner’s Monthly over the next three years. All of his stories published there became popular and critical successes. These stories subsequently were published in a collection in 1879 entitled Old Creole Days.

The topic of his stories mainly focused on antebellum New Orleans society and the struggle of Creoles of color with Anglo-Americans. These stories also had a romantic plot involving characters with persons of mixed race. However, he used these stories as vehicles to expose racial injustices and Jim Crow. Because of the social message his stories contained, his writings generated a great deal of controversy and was resented by many white Southerners. The content of Cable’s stories generated so much hostility towards George that he and his family moved to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1885. In 1888, he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society. After thirty years in Massachusetts, George moved to St. Petersburg, Florida where he died.

Quick Facts:

George Washington Cable

Birth: October 12, 1884

Death: January 31, 1925

Place of Birth: New Orleans, Louisiana

Place of Death: St. Petersburg, Florida

Parents: George W. Cable, Sr., father and Rebecca Boardman Cable, mother

Wives: Louisa Stewart Bartlett (m. 1869 – 1904),  Eva Stenson (m. 1906 – 1923), and Hanna Cowing (m. 1923-1925)

Children: George was the father of eight children.

Writing Credits:

  • The New Orleans Picayune (regular column)
  • “Sieur George” in Scribner’s Monthly (1873)
  • Old Creole Days (1879)
  • The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life (1880)
  • Madame Delphine (1881)
  • A commissioned essay for the 10th S. Census Bureau’s “Social Statistics of Cities”(1884)
  • Sevier (1884)
  • “The Freedman’s Case in Equity” (1885)
  • “The Silent South” (1885)
  • Bonaventur (1888)
  • The Negro Question (1890)
  • Strange True Stories of Louisiana(1890)
  • The Busy Man’s Bible and How to Study and Teach It(1891)
  • A Memory of Roswell Smith(1892)
  • Famous Adventures and Prison Escapes of the Civil War (1893)
  • John March, Southerner(1894)
  • Strong Hearts (1899)
  • The Cavalier (1901)
  • Bylow Hill(1902)
  • Kincaid’s Battery (1908)
  • Possen Jone’ and Pere Raphael(1909)
  • The Amateur Garden (1914)
  • Gideon’s Band(1914)
  • The Flower of the Chapdelaines (1917)
  • Lovers of Louisiana (1918)

*In total, Cable published fourteen novels and collections of short fiction.

Odds and Ends

  • He was raised Presbyterian.
  • He attended Prytania Street Church where he became a deacon and worked in the mission school. He later became a superintendent of the mission Sunday school.
  • Served as a private in the Confederate Army
  • He grew unpopular because of his criticism of racial inequality of the time.
  • Most of his letters, manuscripts, and essays can be found at Tulane University in New Orleans and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Full-Time vs Part-Time Writing

Unless you’re an heir or heiress, changes are you must work at a job. Contrary to what some may believe, writing is a job. But anyone can write, right? Technically, yes. However, writing involves skills. Yes, anyone can type words but not everyone is a storyteller or possesses the ability to communicate in words clearly. Not everyone knows grammar and syntax. It doesn’t mean these things can’t be learned. It simply means, like mostly everything else in life, the craft of writing must learn.

That being said, many skilled writers are unable to support themselves, at least, initially, with their writing. House mortgages, care notes, insurances, and utilities must be paid—not to mention, groceries. For that reason, many writers find themselves working a nine-to-five (or other eight-hour jobs) to fund the basic necessities in life. This means the writer must seek other employment. But if the majority of one’s time is spent at a full-time job, then the writing often becomes the secondary fill-in-the gaps business. And that can be difficult not being able to do the job full-time that one is most passionate.

However, say that a writer has managed to finish a manuscript in his/her spare time, the writing business does not stop there. There remains editing, proofing, selling, and marketing regardless of the writer is published traditionally self-published. It is the extent of each of those elements which fall upon the writer that varies. It is easy to identify how difficult and exhausting being a part-time writer can be.

So, how does one do it? How is one successful being a part-time writer, or is that even possible? Yes, it certainly is possible.

  1. One must remember that many bestselling authors began writing part-time. It may have been while they were a student or intern. How one starts does not always matter. Beginnings must happen somewhere. It’s wise to keep this in mind.
  2. There are plenty of spare moments that one can steal to write. For example, while waiting in the lobby of the dentist office, instead of thumbing through magazines or twitching with anxiety, one could jot notes in a journal or create an outline. While on lunch break, one could write a killer paragraph or map out character sketches.
  3. Part-time writers must stay motivated. Well, all writers should stay motivated, but part-time writers may need more in this area. Full-time writers have an understanding that writing is their livelihood. Not writing to a full-time writer means no income. However, to a part-time writer where his/her primary income is another source, motivation may slag more. Self-deprecating thoughts (e.g., not being good enough, wasting time writing, having multiple other obligations, etc.) may seep in. It’s important to make the most of what available time one has count. It is possible to get much accomplished in a short amount of time.
  4. Ignore word count. That’s right, I said it, and half of the writing community probably just exploded. But I received some sound advice once from a very successful author. What good is it to write 2,000 words in a day if you have to ditch 1,999 of them for being crap? Wouldn’t it be more efficient and effective to write 500 words and have all 500 be meaningful that can be used in a story? It’s a matter of quality versus quantity. I’m not saying that word count goals can’t be good motivators or keep writers on track to achieve deadlines. However, if what is writing is a bunch of garbage, at the end of the day, it won’t matter how many words were written. I listened to a song that was a hit in the 1980s. In fact, it became a number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. The entire song consisted of 21 words. The words were well-constructed and communicated the artist’s thoughts. The song was over three minutes longs, I’m certain some producers and promoters were concerned at the lack of lyrics. However, what was important wasn’t what wasn’t there but what was there. Good writing trumps bad writing any day. Not meeting a specific word count in a day does not indicate an unproductive day. In fact, writing a lot of gibberish cannot only waste time but may also sway the writer in the wrong direction.
  5. Most writers struggle, and you’re not alone. Let me repeat that. You’re not alone. Reach out to others. If you are short on writing time, a critique partner could be your best friend. A CP may be able to keep you on track or help you create a better story faster. In times that you can’t spend writing, maybe your CP could be making notes for you on what you do have. Using this method allows writers to have their manuscripts worked on even when the author is busy else place.
  6. Recognize the social media lie. I had a difficult time with this one, too. Most writing advice will say to build social platforms. What they don’t tell you is the heaping helping of potholes. For one, many writers fall into the trap of asking other writers (who also are building their platforms) to like their page, join their group, or follow them. Many will, but it’s an empty number. The person may join but never interact or read the posts. The effort the writer is putting in is being lost of phantoms. This isn’t always the case, but it happens frequently enough to mention. When asking someone to join a newsletter or page, be sure this is someone who wants to get to know you and are interested in your work. Likewise, make sure you are interested in them. Get to know them. View their page and actively support their platform. Use social media as a tool to allow people to get to know the writer as a priority. Using social media as solely and primarily a place to make sales may lead to disappointing results. Sure, people may decide to purchase books and merchandise from writers, but this usually comes after they have learned something about the author. This is branding.
  7. The social media market is big enough for everyone, but it is also saturated. The people who have carved their niche did so years ago. Newbies struggle to be found and noticed. The effort being placed in building social media platforms may be better spent writing. Does this mean part-time writers should abandon or not bother with social media? Definitely not. It simply means newbies must balance their time wisely. If writing on social media is the goal, no problem. You’re set. Otherwise, plan your time for platform building so that it does not deplete a large portion of your writing time.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.

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Constructing a Writing Plan

Writing a novel can be stressful. From coming up with an idea, transcribing that idea into words (either on paper or electronically), to publishing a process. Getting from A to Z may be a daunting task without a plan. However, there is no need to not have a plan of some sort—even for pantsters. So, here are some steps to create a solid writing plan guaranteed to reduce a writer’s stress and ensure a completed manuscript.

  1. One may think the first step is to develop an idea for a story, but nope. There is so much that needs to occur prior to that. The very first step is to set goals. These could be deadlines, word counts, deciding genre, the location where one will write, time that will write, marketing plan, etc. Goals may be broad or narrow, but they need to be in place. The more specific the increased chance of success, but sometimes being specific isn’t possible or hinders writing.
  2. Before continuing, understand that writing and publishing is a process, and it takes times. For most people (established celebrities excluded), things do not happen overnight. Getting to where you want to be takes time. One of the most important steps is understanding this and being prepared to put in the hard work required.
  3. Another thing to prepare for initially is to expect setbacks, or, as the old folks say, expect the unexpected. This is a “when” and not an “if”. Life happens, and not always in a good way. Things will hit the fan, splatter, and be messy. Arm yourself with a good mop and bleach and be prepared to clean up the fallout. It’s okay because it happens to everyone, and with determination, you will trudge through it. Look at setbacks as learning moments and then keep trucking. Understanding that obstacles may be looming around corners need not throw you off your game if you are properly prepared.
  4. That being said, be sure that you are passionate about writing. Writing can be frustrating, difficult, and isolating. If you want to produce a good, completed novel, you need to love what you’re doing in order to push through the difficult times. Writing a novel is like a marriage—in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, for rich and for poorer…remember the poorer. You may find that you will need to miss events or make sacrifices in order to write. Not having a passion for it may later lead to resentment.
  5. Write your goals down or put them in your phone calendar as a constant reminder of what you need to do. It is easy to overlook, ignore, or forget a rule if it isn’t documented. Sure, some people are capable of grocery shopping without a list. However, utilizing a list may simplify your life.
  6. Hold yourself accountable for your goals. Setting goals are one thing. However, if there are no reward or consequences for meeting or failing to meet these goals, often there is not a motivation for achieving the goal. Since the process may be slow (especially in the beginning), it is important to check regularly that you are meeting the small goals that lead to the bigger ones. Think about a person on a weight loss journey. Participating in a weekly public weigh-in may be the determining factor for having a slice of triple-layer chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting or skipping dessert.
  7. Prepare the environment. Gather any materials you will need for writing prior to sitting down to write. For example, if you frequently use a thesaurus or enjoy snacking while writing, have those things ready. There is no bigger waste of time if one has to search for needed items or leave to get something. Consider a school kid who needs to ride the bus each morning but who does not to pack his/her backpack, get papers signed, or decide what to wear the previous night. When the bus arrives, books and other school supplies may be scattered across several rooms. The odds of forgetting something increases. In fact, in the mad dash to gather the items, the child may not hear the bus and get left. Then the parent must drive the child to school, causing the parent to be late for work. Constant tardiness of this sort may lead to reprimands or firing. And all of this happened because time was not taken to gather materials. Additionally, looking for materials may break the writing flow. By the time one returns to continue, the inspiration may be gone.
  8. Get rid of known distractors. If you have a bad habit of checking your phone, turn it on silent, put it on airplane mode, turn it off, put it in another room for it to charge, or you can turn the data off for the app. If your vice is social media, sign out or turn on your invisibility sign. It’s not rude to unplug for a while. Friends and family will understand your need to stay focus to work. If anyone hassles you for doing this, ask yourself if they are really supportive of your craft.
  9. Consistency is key. It may be difficult, but making writing a habit greatly will improve one’s work. A person who writes consistently quickly will find his/her voice. He/she will begin to see patterns in his/her writing, which comes in handy when editing. The writer will be able to identify personal strengths and weaknesses in their works. Even if the effort does not appear to be paying off, one still needs to write or remain involved in the writing process. Sometimes, it is the additive effect, or the sum of all parts, that matters most. Keep plugging at it.
  10. Keep an open mind and be willing to learn. Learning will allow one to grow as a writer. For example, the more one writes, the more one may pay attention to grammar. This may enable to the writer to develop better first drafts or require less editing. (Note “less” not “none”.)
  11. Block out a time to write or a time to work on writing. For example, a writer may reserve Mondays for posting on social media, Tuesdays for marketing, Wednesdays for editing, and Thursdays through Saturdays for writing new content. Or one may decide to write for two consecutive hours daily. Or one may choose to write in a certain location.
  12. Do not be afraid to evolve and change direction. Where you start and think you want to go may not be where you finish. Writing can be a winding path. Explore the various options and find the one that works best for you. However, do not venture too far from your starting path or you may find yourself wandering aimlessly in the wilderness.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities. Visit Sorority Bible Table of Contents to view any or all of these posts.

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IWSG

How to Get a Literary Agent

Today’s topic is nailing getting a literary agent. These tips will provide writers looking for an agent useful advice. So, let’s jump right in and get to it.

  1. Learn the agents who will be interested in your book/novel. This may be done in several ways.
  2. Internet searches
  3. Books (e.g., the Writers Market)
  4. Online websites that list agents and their bios
  5. Professional writing groups
  6. Word of mouth/asking other authors
  7. The acknowledgment section in published books in the genre a writer wants to publish. Sometimes, authors list their agents in the acknowledgment section
  8. Writers conferences
  9. Query letters. A query basically is an introduction/cover letter from a writer to an agent. It should be professionally done, as in edited with proper grammar, format, and information included. It should be under a page in length with concise paragraphs. Make it interesting but saver the flowery language for later. It should give a brief description of the main character(s), plot, and relevant information from the writer’s resume (e.g., previous publications, writing awards, memberships in professional writing organizations, educational degrees, and anything that lend credibility to the writer’s writing ability. Many agents list the guidelines for what they want in a query on their websites.
  10. Create a pitch that shows an agent that the writer is knowledgeable in the genre. This does not mean listing a litany of everything one has ever learned in a creative writing class. But it does mean demonstrating that the writer is competent in subject and theme of critical elements necessary for inclusion in a genre. For example, a science fiction novel needs to have science in it. It’s not the same as fantasy. The two may overlap, but if it’s all mermaids and fairies and no science, it’s fantasy and not science fiction.
  11. Send queries in batches. This is done in steps.
  12. Compile a list of agents that the writer is interested in working with. There should be at least a dozen names on the list.
  13. Prioritize the list to the agents most interested in working with to the least.
  14. Personalize each letter. Do not send mass letters that say “dear sir/madam”. Take the time to address each agent by name and throw in something about the type of client that agent tends to prefer or represent. In other words, indicate that you how done your research and know about the agent and his/her agency.
  15. Know how the agent prefers to be contacted. Most prefer email these days, but some still may be old school and prefer snail mail. Yet, others may have online query forms in lieu of letters.
  16. Mail/email 5 – 6 letters initially and wait for a response. Use any rejection feedback to improve the query. (Note, there is an exception to this that I will address later.) If no offers/acceptances are made and the query has been updated, send it to the next 5-6 agents on the list. Continue this process until agent is obtained or the listed is exhausted. If the list is exhausted and having an agent is still desired, do more research and begin again. Be sure to consider any elements in the story that might be putting off an agent, and be sure that the queries are sent to agents in the desired genre.
  17. Do not send multiple agents in the same firm queries at the same time. Select one. If a writer decides to later query another agent within the same agency with the same manuscript, write a new query. Do not send the same letter. Remember, agents talk to each other.
  18. Understand that obtaining an agent may be a lengthy process. Be patient.
  19. Have a complete manuscript prior to querying. Now, here is a point of debate. The manuscript may need editing, but no agent will expect perfection. (Note: there’s more to this.) However, it should be a final copy, meaning the story has a beginning, middle, end, and has been spellchecked, proofed, in standard font, and properly formatted. It should not be a draft.
  20. Don’t get set on one agent. Keep an open mind and query widely. Although a writer may desire to work with his/her favorite author’s agent, that agent may not be a correct fit.
  21. Understand that landing an agent may not translate into that agent being able to sell the manuscript to a publisher quickly or at all. It may take months or years for an agent to sell a manuscript. Having realistic expectations and acknowledging them may cause an agent to be more willing to work with a writer.
  22. Know the agent’s resume and sell record. If an agent has dozens of clients but hasn’t made any sells, that says something. Be sure to select an agent who is not overextended.
  23. Do not automatically rule out new agents. Some agents just beginning are thirty to prove themselves and work diligently to find new writers publishers. Remember, agents, make a living by selling manuscripts. New agents will work hard to make the sell. Some of the more distinguished agents may take on new writers but prioritize their more established clients. Thus, a new client may not receive as much attention.
  24. Agents are not editors—at least not all of them. While some agents may give editorial feedback on a manuscript, their main job is to sell and not edit. That is why a manuscript needs to be the best that a writer can make it. But in #7, I wrote a manuscript didn’t need to be perfect. And I also said there was more to this. This is it. Most traditional publishers have an editing staff and edit all books to ensure they meet the publishing house’s standard and criteria. However, editing costs money. With the amount of competition that exist and the push to have manuscripts published quickly, both agents and publishers expect manuscripts to be near perfect. Agents need a decent product to sell.
  25. Although agents’ main job is not editing, they will have input to improve the manuscripts. An agent may ask for changes in the manuscript based upon what he/she knows he/she can sell to a publisher. Be prepared to work with an agent on that level.
  26. There are perks to having an agent. However, writers can be successful without one. Many small publishing houses consider working with writers without agents. Of course, self-published authors don’t need agents. That doesn’t mean they can’t have one, but self-publishers are their own agents and aren’t negotiating deals with publishers. The point is, not finding an agent does not mean a writer won’t have a writing career. There are many successful authors without agents. Having an agent is most important when trying to publish with a large publishing house.
  27. Expect reject. It’s all a part of the process. Very few writers land agents with the first pitch or first query. It is not impossible, just difficult.
  28. Now to revisit #4 regarding using agent feedback to revamp query letters. Before using that information to rewrite the query, read it carefully. Many agents are busy and send out form rejection letters. As with everything else, over the years the look of these letters has changed. Templates have been created to make some of these letters appear more personal. One new writer posted to a writing group what she thought was a considerate and glowing rejection letter. Shortly after she posted the letter, several other writers posted a very similar letter from the same publisher. The recommendations for changes were identical, although, the names of the books were personalized in each letter. That is not to criticize the agent. However, basing changes off generic feedback is mostly useless. Be sure that the feedback used is genuine.
  29. Finally, beware of bad agents and scams. Agents do take a part of the money when a manuscript is sold. That is how they make their living. However, writers should not be paying agents unexplained fees. If an agent is asking for money upfront to represent a writer, the writer should be cautious.

That is it for this post. Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. Furthermore, my special series on Greek life, sororities, and everything parents or students wanting to join a sorority (or fraternity) should know is posted each Monday. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

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How to Write a Kissing Scene

In novels, especially romances, kissing scenes can be some of the most powerful and important scenes. Because of this, writers need to be well versed and take special care in designing and developing these kinds of scenes. Here are ten tips to help create a dynamic scene.

  1. Decide what type of kiss it is. Is it loving, playful, revengeful? Is it consensual or reluctant? Knowing the type of kiss helps set up the appropriate body language that accompanies it and communicated emotion.
  2. Avoid the kiss being robotic, scientific, and clinical. If the kiss reads like DVR instructions or a paint-by-numbers, it probably needs toning down a bit. It is not necessary to provide step-by-step on every minute detail of the kiss. In general, kissing involves one person’s lips intentionally touching another person somewhere. (There are exceptions to his, and but let’s not get into all that. For now, allow this definition to suffice.) Using this definition, it is unnecessary (and redundant) to write something such as, “He kissed her with his lips.” Kissing scenes work best when they appear natural and effortless. It shouldn’t be relayed as a series of conscientious physical movements.
  3. Take time with the first kiss. Build up to the moment. Create tension. Usually, but not always, the first kiss is the one that is the most exciting. Notice I said “exciting” and not “loving”, although, it also may be loving.
  4. Do not overlook the emotional elements and internal sensations. How the characters feel while is really good stuff and story material. Are their toes tingling? Hearts thumping? Hair about to singe from their scalps? Or are the characters repulsed? Do they feel dirty, ashamed, or guilty? Did the kiss make their blood boil hot or chill ice cold or both? Or is there something more happening? Perhaps someone feels disappointed or jilted.
  5. In a kissing scene, it is crucial for the writer to show and not tell. Telling would involve something along the lines of, “The kiss made her happy.” Instead, show the joy light in her eyes or her swooning as she walked. Better yet, have the male swoon. Readers don’t get to see that too often.
  6. Don’t forget to write the characters’ reaction to or after the kiss. A kissing scene has its own mini-arc. a. The tension leading up to it. b. The physical act. c. the post-kiss reaction. Is the character relieved, regretful, or elated? Has it changed (for better of worse) the relationship between the characters? Is it a pivotal or eye-opening moment? Will it alter the characters’ outlooks, perspectives, or motivations? How will the kiss impact the characters for the remainder of the story? Will it lead to more or something else?
  7. Go for it. Don’t be afraid to write the scene. If it’s the first kissing scene a writer has written, it may feel a bit embarrassing, awkward, or uncomfortable. Write the scene first and worry with editing it later. Just get it on paper with inhibition. The more a writer works with it, the better (and easier) kissing scenes become. Being too anxious about it will make writing it worse. This often is the part of a story (along with sex scenes) writers worry about being judged, especially by family and close friends. Given that writing is usually personal to start, it may be difficult for a writer to write something that mostly is reserved to be private and intimate and not for public consumption (unless one is a voyeur which is a completely different topic). Put fear aside and jump in head first.
  8. Make the emotions and kiss relatable. As with method acting, writers should understand the characters and write what is felt in the moment. That does not mean the writer must write from a particular character’s POV, but the writers should convey to the ready what the character authentically is feeling. The scene shouldn’t be written as if it’s some aloof occurrence, unless, of course, it is some aloof occurrence. The emotions the characters feel in the moment should be written in a way that readers feel them, too. The best way for that to happen is if the writer fully commits to writing the scene.
  9. Understand that there are several ways to write a kissing scene. Since not all kisses are “romantic”, sometimes a writer may want to get in and out, sort of speak. Therefore, a writer may choose to pare down the scene by spending a sentence or two on the kiss instead of developing a more elaborate description.
  10. Keep in mind the age and skill level of the characters. Some characters may be more experienced or suave than others. A fourteen-year old’s first kiss is likely to be different than a thirty-year-old—although, there may be some bumbling thirtysomethings out there.

BONUS TIP: Don’t be afraid to play around with it and have some fun.

Don’t forget to visit Creole Bayou again. New posts are made on Wednesdays. Furthermore, my special series on Greek life, sororities, and everything parents or students wanting to join a sorority (or fraternity) should know is posted each Monday. If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or tweet me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search me on Goodreads or Amazon Authors.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click Newsletter and signup today.

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Is Reading Dead?

Is reading dead? That may sound like a silly and bleak question. But is it really? Let’s explore.

In the age of Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, YouTube, and so forth, reading has transformed. For many, long gone are the days of lounging under a shade tree and losing oneself in prose. Twitter taught the world to express self in 124 characters or less. Instagram demanded the stories be told in photos. YouTube yields strips away the written word for visuals, while Snap Chat distorts images to make everything goofy and giggle-worthy. Don’t get me wrong. This is no shade to any of those medians. I’m not a hater. So, where am I going with this?

A few days ago, I was doing a bit of editing to a work in progress (WIP) that has been giving me trouble for quite some time with the word count. While I do understand the logic of word count guidelines, I started to wonder how a novel like Gone with the Wind, a whopping 418,053 words, would go over with many editors and readers today. I can already hear the “cut, cut, cut”.

One of the fantastic things I enjoyed about Gone with the Wind was Margaret Mitchell’s descriptions and the way she transported readers from pages to the heart of Georgia. What Margaret Mitchell saw, her readers saw. The images were crisp and vivid. On the contrary, the preference for current books now appears to be a fill-in-the-blank approach. Writers provide few details, and the readers use their imaginations to complete the scene. I’ve heard some writers go as far as saying they intentionally do not give physical descriptions of their characters to allow each reader a unique reading experience. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach, it can be disheartening.

For example, say the main character (MC) drives a vehicle. This is very generic. One reader may envision an economy sedan while another reader imagines a snazzy sports car. The savvy MC decides to take a road trip in his trusty vehicle. On his way, he encounters a group of thugs that run him off the road. His vehicle effortlessly cruises through the rugged terrain of jagged rocks, steeped-wall canyons, and standing water. But wait. Can a sedan do that? Possibly. What about a sports car? Maybe. However, likely, the MC owns an off-road vehicle. As a reader, I would have appreciated knowing this before I became attached to that luxury sports car I could never afford.

That example may seem ridiculous, far-fetched, or inconsequential. However, I’m the type of reader that not having details tears me from the story when the images I form in my head do not match a detail presented in the story. When I watch television, the cinematographer, costume designer, scenic artist, and prop master provide me with a vision. When reading a book, I want the author to paint that vision. I’m not interested in a blank canvas just as I’m not interested in viewing a movie without a picture. Something seems missing. Imagine ordering a comforter for a bed with “some design”. There’s no telling what you’d get.

But providing those images often means increasing the word count. Many readers are used to instant gratification. If Margaret Mitchell was to post on Twitter, she could have written there was a war with lots of deaths and left it at that. And that would be accurate. Yet, how many readers would have envisioned miles of wailing soldiers with insects hovering their rotting wounds?

The hard fact that is details do turn off many readers. Thumbnails and headlines are all some readers desire. Writing with lack details can lead to them sounding cookie-cutter and stale. Writers must decide the appropriate balance which is not always easy.

Enjoy sports romance? Check out my new adult romance, Defending the Net, released on November 10. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. It will be sold at Kindle, Apple Store, Nook, Kobo, !ndigo, Angus & Robertson, and Mondadori Store. It is the second in my hockey series and guaranteed to melt the ice. Order a copy now at www.books2read.com/defending. Crossing the line could cost the game.

Missed the first in my hockey romance series? Don’t worry. Out of the Penalty Box, an adult romance where it’s one minute in the box or a lifetime out is available at http://amzn.to/2Bhnngw. It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit http://bit.ly/2i9SqpH.

Life’s Roux: Wrong Doors, my steamy romantic comedy, is available at Red Sage Publishing. To order, follow the link to http://bit.ly/2CtE7Ez or to Amazon at http://amzn.to/2lCQXpt.

Copies of all my books and stories are available in paper, eBook, and audio on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. The links are listed in my Writing Projects page (http://bit.ly/2iDYRxU) along with descriptions of each of my novels or stories.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click https://genevivechambleeconnect.wordpress.com/newsletter/ and signup today.

Finally, if you or anyone you know are interested in joining a college Greek life organization, check out my special series posted each Monday for everything you wanted (and didn’t want) to know about college fraternities and sororities.

DISCLAIMER: Creole Bayou is not sponsored or being paid to endorse any business, website, person, podcast, broadcast, videos, philanthropy, or products. Any shoutouts given is due to personally liking a product or cause. There is no intention to slight any competitors or introduce bias. If you have a product or service that is related to anything mentioned in this post and would like a shoutout in the future, please do not hesitate to contact via email to inform me of such product or service.