Sunday, 19 October 2014

When Professionalism is on the line

Over the last twenty-four hours author, bloggers and readers have endlessly discussed the Guardian article by author, Kathleen Hale, on confronting 'her number one online critic'.

 Illustration: Anna Parini for the Guardian
You know what? I'm tired. It's late on Sunday evening, I don't want to go into authors/bloggers behaving badly or how Goodreads is a den of iniquity or what the hell did the author think she was doing.

The fact is, we're supposed to be professionals. We get paid to be professional and we don't cross that fucking line. It doesn't matter if you get 5000 1 star reviews. We paste on a smile and write the next book.

That's my opinion and I'll leave it there.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Luke's Present

Luke's Present

Buylink: Audible iTunes Amazon

Lost Cow Ranch foreman Simon Bryan is worried about Luke, his boss and possessive partner of 12 years. Reeling from the flood that took his horse, Luke has postponed surgery on his knee, and his nightmares have been escalating. Worse, he is pulling away from Simon emotionally. Desperate to help his lover cope, Simon plans a special Christmas gift, but it is Luke's present that changes their relationship forever.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Sapphire Ranch Wolves

The Sapphire Ranch Wolves
Book #2 The Hidden Wolf

Sheriff Milo Clarke has met his mate, Eli Watkins, and now they're conducting a long distance relationship while Eli runs the Cavalry, the security firm protecting Joe and Cal at the Sapphire Ranch from the hunters. The long distance loving is hard on all three of them, Eli, Clarke and Clarke's wolf, who is becoming more restless as Clarke refuses to shift. When Clarke going to give into the other side of him and how will Clarke and Eli resolve the distance between their lives?

Book#1 The Last Wolf


The only good predator is a dead one, as far as Joe Lowther is concerned.

That is until the day he shoots a wolf, only to watch the animal turn into a naked Callum Pope. Cal is being hunted by a group of humans who eradicate shifter packs for sport.

Joe makes a decision to help Cal and discovers a deeper connection with the young shifter. One which he’d like to explore. If they live that long.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Commenting on Social Media

 Let me ask you a question. Okay, maybe more than one.

  • Are you male or female?
  • Are you gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual or pansexual?
  • Are you monogamous or polyamorous?

The chances are if you’re reading this you’re either female and straight or male and gay. Of course that’s a total assumption on my part, and probably wrong.

And that’s how I feel sometimes when I read odd comments on social media. People make assumptions without thinking who might be reading it. KJ Charles wrote a blog about the Ten Ways Authors Fail on Social Media. In it she talks about the three circles of people you may forget you are sharing your posts/comments/tweets.
  • Fans
  • Wider potential readership
  • People who aren't going to read your books or share your content 
Here I’m really talking about the first two circles for anyone on social media. I see three types of comments from people who aren’t thinking about who could be reading it.
  • ·         Supporting your friend because someone has upset them. Your friend puts out a pity-me post because someone (usually unnamed) online has upset them, and suddenly there are fifty comments saying “Poor you. People are horrible. Ignore the bitch”. We all do it. We want to show support. But what happens when ‘the bitch’ is also your friend? You’ve made a random comment and they could be reading it. How does that make them feel about you?
  • ·         Supporting an author who can’t write sex/plot/long books/short stories/fast/short etc. There will be comments supporting the author. Of course you want to support them. But why do you have to say “Authors who write XYZ are crap” or something similar. Chances are there is an author reading your comment who writes the complete antithesis of the person who needs support, and you’re telling them they are inadequate.
  • ·         And finally, because this is something that bugs the living hell out of me… we write about men, we post pictures of guys, we talk about actors/celebrities/porn stars etc. For most of you men are your subject of interest but you know some of us like girls too. Seeing a comment like “God, I hate seeing photos of women. It’s only the men we’re interested in” or PMing someone to scold them for posting pictures of women because we should only show men really makes me feel like hey, women are just second-class - again. Also making a derogatory comment about women in general. Just no. Think about it.

I’m not saying don’t support your friends. Just think about what you’re saying. Are you putting someone else (who could well be reading it) down in your eagerness to be a good friend?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Interesting Blogs: Compromise

This last year has been difficult for me. Two major family issues arrived at the same time and neither have been resolved. Both have affected my time to write, and for a while, caused writer's block that I didn't think was going to end. You may think that not writing for a few months doesn't matter, but when you rely on every last penny of the royalties just to get through the month, believe me, it matters.

The other effect for me is the length of book I can produce. Whilst I would like to produce constant lengthy books, in reality 30k/month is about my limit. I have had to compromise on word count and at times, it has hurt my writer's soul. However this is my day job and I know that I learn from each story. You can say as much in 10k as in 100k. The trick is making each word count.

Trawling through some blogs today I saw a couple on compromise that I thought I'd share. The first is on artistic compromise by Josh Lanyon and aimed at authors.

"And this is where you must be honest with yourself. If you define “success” as making money writing or having a lot of people read your work, then you must be realistic about whether your stories are commercial. You must accept that you liking something is not automatically the same as being commercial. You must analyze and evaluate the books in your chosen genre that are commercial, and you must consider what these books have that yours do not. And no, “lots of sex” is not usually the answer. As comforting as this is to believe."

The second is a personal testimony from RJ Scott (who linked Josh's blog) on Compromise and Success.

"I've said it before and I will say it again - The Fireman And The Cop was a compromise. At the time I desperately wanted to write another Texas book, but I couldn't because it was tied up in the Silver mess. Also I was hit so hard by that financially, that I needed a commercial success. But, as soon as I sat down to write a formula that would sell - my characters yanked me away from the edge. So yes, I have the fireman, yes I have the cop, but they have complicated back stories, and their romance whilst quick, is fraught with danger."

Saturday, 4 October 2014

October Round-up

Happy Autumn to you, my lovelies.

I thought I'd catch you up with what's happening in Sue's world.
  • I've received a contract from Dreamspinner for Letters from a Cowboy. This is my Morning Report prequel. It's set before the Morning Report series, in 1954 Texas and based on the letters in Luke's Present story.

  • Ed & Marchant, the sequel to Frankie & Al is due out in November. I can't show you Ed's cover, but I think it's worth showing Frankie's cover again.
Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work.

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.

The Hidden Wolf, the sequel to The Last Wolf  is due out on November 5th. Look at my beautiful cover made by the very talented Meredith Russell. What do you think?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Interesting Blogs: Ten Ways for Authors to Fail on Social Media

I posted this because I think people often forget that they aren't just talking to their fans/friends, as anyone who has a nasty tweet go viral finds out.

Ten Ways for Authors to Fail on Social Media

by K.J. Charles

"4) Forget who you’re talking to.I think of this as three circles of people.
Fans. Fans like extracts, early looks at covers and blurbs, writing updates and hearing about your massive yet fragile ego work. Love and cherish fans, because they deserve it. Consider setting up a group/place where you can interact with them directly, share goodies and give them things they’ll value, in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your general social media presence.
The wider potential readership. People who might be interested in reading your books, but don’t care about cover reveals, new blurbs and so on. Or people who don’t read your books and probably never will but who like your social media and will share posts, retweet, etc. Swamping these people with marketing will not convert them into fans. If you blog/tweet/pin/exist in an interesting or amusing way, that may convert into sales, directly because you’re interesting, or via retweets and links and signal boosts that make other people aware of you. Or it may not, of course, but promising a cover reveal later this week!!!four times a day definitely won’t. ‘Too much promo’ is a really common reader complaint, and there’s just no need for it, when the internet offers all kinds of ways to talk to different groups of people with the stuff they want to hear.
People who will never read your books or share your content. Not everyone is a potential reader, tragic though that may seem, and promo-ing to these people is a waste of time. Focus on the people you want to talk to and don’t fret about meaningless numbers. I pick up rugby accounts whenever I tweet about my team; they slough off like sunburnt skin when I get back to queer romance; I’d be an idiot to focus on retaining rugby followers at the expense of, you know, readers."

Read the rest of the article here