Be the Hero of your Story

I welcome back Candee Carder to share some insights regarding plotlines. She has a how-to-book on the subject. And she’s having a giveaway opportunity for those who sign up for her newsletter. See the details at the bottom of this post.

KadeeCarder_Headshot_2017

Finding and enjoying the story in life is a never-ending practice. The point of the story isn’t the resolution. What do we learn from conflict? The conflict is the story. As Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem Ulysses:

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

 

‘Tis not too late. You have not wasted time. You fill time and invest time.

The ancient Greeks distinguished our understanding of time. They implemented two definitions and understandings of time, categorized by two names: Chronos and Kairos.

Chronos, a chronological sequence and order of events, more often than not dictates the common man’s life. Chronos sets our schedules and clocks. The typical day for the common man revolves around chronos and adjusting it into a schedule, and is often what people refer to when they think about “time.”

Kairos defines the moments when something special happens. Kairos occurs as the hero fulfills destiny. Man exists in chronos while God exists in kairos. Kairos envelops the layers of the golden, setting sun, and the crystalline song of the stars. During kairos the wind whispers its secrets to the birds flying home. Kairos surrounds the hero, the artist, the creator, in the creation and building of story.

Heroes possess the desperate need for kairoi and not just chronos.

We get stuck with our watches, ticking clocks, one minute to the next as we wait in line and tap our feet or honk at the slow, tan car in the lane before us. We race one heartbeat to the next, tick, tick, tick.

The hero creates kairos. Kairos holds the secrets where myth and legend form, those quality moments when memories build, when texture and emotion intermingle, where space exploration and bliss thrive. Unchain from chronos. Act courageously, persevere consistently, and love passionately. Build your hero plotline, one step, one moment, at a time.

***

You have three unique tools. Are you using them?

Opt in for an adventure to discover purpose, tenacity, and to build your empire. Are you stuck? Questioning your purpose? Are you tired, broken, and hurting in the stale crumbs of the daily grind?

Even the most ordinary of humans can do impossible things. The elements of storytelling are tools to help us understand our purpose and to build a life greater. Within KINGDOM COME we discover the three protocols every hero satisfies in order to fulfill the mission. You’re the hero in your own story. Transforming into the hero may be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Discover the ultimate objective in understanding and experiencing the combined unity of these three tools in your hero story. Get ready to travel the vast horizon of the hero plot line and forge new paths toward your legacy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Grab your ebook ($1.99) or paperback ($6.99 ~ with a workbook at the end!) from Amazon today and begin building that legacy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1721148353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1530550224&sr=8-1&keywords=kadee+carder+kingdom+come

Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.

INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.

 

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!

Let’s connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkYQcShpWHBua-7VVi9Swg

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kadeecarder/

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com/subscribe. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!

 

A quick Announcement Linda Orr won the giveaway on Linda Yezak’s tour.

Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog for more writing tips and author interviews.

Do’s and Don’t of Book Reviews

 

woman reading book

Write a review it takes only a few minutes.

I last posted a how-to article on submitting book reviews on Amazon. Today I thought I’d do a refresher on the concept of a review—specifically reviews on Amazon and other book sale sites. In these reviews, don’t think you must retell the story. The book ad has a blurb describing the content. So, our job as the reviewer is to express to potential readers what we liked or didn’t like about a book.

Our review can be as simple as one line.

“I could not put this book down.”

“I read it in one day.”

“Not my cup of tea.”

None of these one-liners mention the story’s content. But, it’s their honest review. A friend asks you, “Did you see such and such a movie?” Your response might be. “It was cool.” Now if you know this person and you have similar tastes you’ll go see it.

A book review needs a bit more information because many strangers will be reading your comments. Two of the one-liners above tell me the book kept the reader’s attention and the third it didn’t. Add a line or two telling why.

Describe what you loved about it. “I loved not figuring out who done it before it was revealed at the end of the book.” If I am looking for a mystery this is a comment that gets my interest.

“Not sappy. Strong female characters. Interesting twists. More than a simple romance.” I love a romance with more than two people making eyes at each other.  So, this review has my interest.

“I learned so much about life during the Civil War. Well-researched.” I like historicals that are fact filled. I’d consider reading this novel.

Some reviewers copy exact quotes from the book. That is so cool. Tells me the writer is a great wordsmith if the reader is captured by the words enough to quote them.

glasses on paper-2

What not to review

I read a review of a thriller that I found odd. “Too creepy.” She said. The reviewer added she didn’t like being scared. Not sure why she read a thriller when the whole point is to scare the reader at least a little.

Don’t bother to review a book you haven’t finished. If you do, admit you couldn’t finish it and say why.

Don’t review a book from genre you never read unless you loved it. It’s not fair to the writer. You can’t give an honest review of a genre you don’t like. There are specific ingredients that make up each genre. If you only like pie then cake may never satisfy you even if it has won a blue ribbon.

There are rare occasions when I’m asked to review a book way out of my wheelhouse. And if I am surprised that the content interested me, I mention that in the review. But often, I’ll suggest the author find someone who loves their genre to review it.

Please don’t review a book you have never read because your friend told you it was terrible and ask you to help get the word out. The flip side is true too. Don’t give a 5-star rating to a book your friend loved but you never read it. Honestly, I’ve meant people who are lemmings when it comes to reviews. This is not fair to prospective readers.

Longer reviews

There are those who write wonderful long reviews that compare the book to others in the genre or other titles the author has written. This is helpful to many who follow a specific author.  These longer reviews can often capture the attention of a new readers. If the review of an up and coming Romance novelist is compared to Nicholas Sparks or Debbie Macomber their fans will probably buy the book.

Be kind

But you don’t have to wax poet or long. Just be honest. While you’re at it, be kind. Snarky lines only give you grief. I did that only once. The feedback from the irate author and his fake friends (he wrote more criticisms of me under various names.) was not worth the time it took me to be snarky. We are not Sisko and Ebert getting big bucks to be brash, so keep your criticism mellow.

Misspelling and confusion

Be sure if you mention a character that you have the name right. Someone praised my heroine using the wrong name. It’s easy to do. We get involved in the story and then the names get jumbled in our heads later. Try to have no typos, especially the authors name. Yes, I’ve done that too. I’ve caught myself misspelling a name. Yay for the edit button.

Recap

Be honest.

Be clear.

Be kind.

Be accurate.

Don’t give a bad review for a genre you don’t read.

Don’t review a book you’ve never read.

Don’t retell the story.

Final thought

Please, please, please don’t give spoilers. As much as you want to, don’t tell me the twist details.  Save those comments for your book club.

What are you favorite kinds of reviews when you are considering buying a book?

If you’ve read Secrets & Charades I hope you’ve posted a review. If you haven’t read it yet check it out. There’s a buy link below.

secret-charades-front-cover

Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.

Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.

Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage

Click here to order

Connect with Cindy:

Facebook Author Page: https ://www.facebook.com/author.huff11/

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/cindyervinhuff

Pinterest: yes

Google+:https://plus.google.com/u/0/117599590227912410637

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8029703-cindy-ervin-huff

Twitter: https:// twitter.com/CindyErvinHuff

Molly Jo Realy Explains Why Authors Need A Swarm

BUZZ.Bio.PicToday I have asked Molly Jo Realy, my fantastic editor to come and talk to us about creating a Swarm. Among her awesome skills is helping authors create a following on social media. Some called it a tribe. Molly Jo calls it a swarm. Let’s find out why.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy life to pay my readers a visit. I’ve set out some brownies on my kitchen table, which is my favorite place to conduct interviews. Take a seat and help yourself. I heard you prefer coffee so I had my hubby make you some.

Thanks, Cindy. It’s true, I’m a coffee addict. Thanks for noticing.

First, explain what a swarm is and why writers need them.

Well, for starters, the word “Swarm” sort of just came to me. I was writing a blog post on the Do’s and Don’t’s of social media and I titled it “To Be or Not to Be”. It was at this time I also reconstructed my monthly newsletter and named it “Here’s the Buzz.” So the bee theme fell into place and once I realized that, it was a no-brainer to recognize my people as my Swarm.swarm of bees

A swarm of bees works together for the good of all and to support the Queen Bee in her goals. Other than the Queen, bees don’t really have a multi-tier hierarchy. They help each other and spread sweet nectar and pollen to keep their world going and growing. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.

Bees communicate because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to build hives, discover new fields, or survive.

I’m not a Queen Bee by any means, and it’s my Swarm who keep me flying. They share my passion for writing and help create a social media buzz by telling others about my books, editing, mad ninja skills, and whatever else I share that they want to pass on. They communicate with me, telling me what works, what doesn’t, what I can do better. They are my foundation, my support. No Queen Bee is worth anything without a strong Swarm around her.bee-square

Why should writers bother with social media? Isn’t promoting our books the job of our publisher?

Not at all. First, most authors of our caliber are contracted through smaller publishing houses which rarely have their own marketing division. When a publisher signs you, they expect you to come “pre-packaged”, that is, with your own networkers and supporters. Your first source of honey is going to be your own hive. We are the first generation of writers to have instant access to the world via the internet. It’s integral to our flight that we know how to use it efficiently, and that includes interacting with and being responsible to our Swarm.

I’ve heard you have to post a lot and often on Facebook, Twitter and all those other social media sites in order to get noticed. Is that true?

Yes and no. 100% of any Swarm is found via a mix of Facebook and Twitter. All other sites are a good boost, but I recommend picking and choosing an amount you can regularly interact with. Some busy bees can manage many, others might want to fly closer to home. Remember the key word here is social. If you have a Swarm, you need to care for them. This means letting them know they’re good for you and your environment.

bees in hiveOn average, post three to four times daily, each day. And follow up. If a worker bee replies to your post, how long do you think he or she will stay in your Swarm if you constantly ignore them?

My sites of choice are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, for daily Swarming, and I visit Pinterest and Google+ a few times each week.

Also by sharing with your bees daily, it’s not such a heavy load.

Toss out a freebie or contest now and then. Post questions, quizzes, polls. Share their stories and reviews. Appreciate what they do on your behalf. If a bee tags you in a different hive, say thanks for the honey.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Remember that even an angry bee can be beneficial, if handled properly. Let’s face it, sometimes bees sting. But that’s few and far between. The trick there is to acknowledge the hurt and move forward. Sharing someone else’s bad review of your book can start your Swarm buzzing on your behalf.

How do you keep the interest of your swarm and grow the numbers?

There are different analytic insights you can track on Facebook, your blog, etc., to notice which of your posts get the most interaction. Find your focus, and make a bee-line for it. Don’t fly all over the place, but direct your Swarm. My blog offers a plethora of topics, but the underlying theme is Faith, Family, Food, and Fun. There are subtopics like editing tips, social media buzz, Pinterest-worthy crafts. On Facebook and Twitter, I post short links, curate from other sources (foodie articles, Pinterest shares, writing and editing sites). Find the theme(s) that tie what you write with the people you want in your Swarm. Nature will take its course from there.

After you’ve told everyone on social media to buy your book what more is there to say?

First, I must say, never, ever, ever “tell” someone to buy your book. Your swarm should be with you from the beginning stages. Bees don’t move into a pre-built hive. They build it according to their Swarm specifics and the Queen Bee’s plans.

So start your Swarm early. Build your social media sites while you’re still writing your book. Share the flight. Some days you’ll have blue skies and tail winds, other days are stormy and all you’ll want is shelter. Let your Swarm be a part of the process. When your book is ready, your Swarm will be your first readers and buyers because they’ve taken the journey with you.

This doesn’t mean to spill all the beans. You don’t want to post chapters online or reveal the whodunit prematurely. You can definitely create a buzz with before-and-after actions. Share their reviews. Ask them to help set up book signings and author events.

Unless you’re a one-and-done writer, you’ll always have a need for your Swarm.

What if I don’t have time to deal with social media because my life is squeezed between my job and writing deadlines. Any suggestions?

I again recommend picking your location. Some hives are big, some are small. There are scheduling applications like Hootsuite that you can use to preschedule posts.

Besides social media are there other ways to create a swarm?

Most definitely, although it may be less noticeable as social media enables us to reach many people on a larger plateau quickly. Having said that, some Swarms are physically located. Ask your family and friends to join you for a potluck to update them on your writing progress. Find small groups where you can present your works: book clubs, church groups, writers meetings, craft fairs.

Is there anything more you would like to add about swarms that I forgot to ask and you feel is a need-to-know?

Remember to take care of yourself and your Swarm. And remember that bees move on. If you start with sharing recipes on Facebook, it’s not that sticky to change your post themes. Keep the sales pitch to a minimum (one in six posts). The rest of the sharing is meant to build relationships. Have fun with your hive!

If all you want is to sell books, just take out an ad in Sunday’s paper.

Molly Jo, you’ve been so helpful. Why not tell us a little about your writing projects and your editorial service and how my readers can contact you.

In addition to writing and editing, I’m the producer of the Firsts in Fiction Podcast where we talk weekly about writing fiction. I enjoy helping others develop a social media presence, cooking, and sharing life online.

My work in progress is NOLA, a location mystery set in New Orleans. It’s about a woman who’s so fed up with life she takes a trip and winds up in New Orleans where she gets caught up in a possible murder. She has to choose between returning to what she thought was a life worth escaping, or staying and embracing the chaos of new love and old wounds.

Thank you again. This has been fun, and the brownies were excellent.

You can contact me through the links in my bio.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this Beeutiful interview. I Beelieve we have all benefited from your wisdom.

About Molly

Molly Jo is a writer, editor, social media ninja, and producer of the weekly Firsts in Fiction podcast. She is the founder of New Inklings Press and author of The Unemployment Cookbook: Ideas for Feeding Families One Meal at a Time, and other books available through her website and on Amazon.

Her current work in progress, NOLA, is a location mystery set in New Orleans and is scheduled for publication in late 2016.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and her blog, Frankly, My Dear . . .

 

If you have any specific questions about social media or would like to share your experience please leave a comment below. I always love to hear from you all.

 

If you’ve thought about subscribing or even if your toying with the idea. Do it today so you don’t miss any of the upcoming conference tips delivered right to your email.