free book, Free book giveaway, Uncategorized

It’s a Tag Party – And You’re It!

Happy Monday! This week we’re starting off with a fun way to support your favorite authors from the site – A Tag Party. All you have to do is follow the links below to each book. Be sure to sign in with your amazon account before you go any farther. Scroll down to where it says, “Tags Customers Associate with This Product.” Now you have an option to “Agree with all tags” or to add your own. Try to think of all the words or phrases you might use to describe the book or to search for it. This will help others find the book when they are looking for a “teen fantasy” or a book about “teen secret agents.” Even if you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, you can still hit “Agree with all tags”.

How does this help the authors? It gets their book moved up higher on search lists. This helps them to sell more books. It’s an easy way to make a big difference for an author you love. So, now that you know the game, get busy tagging because YOU’RE IT!

Heather Sutherlin    A Light In The Darkness (Light Series Book 1)

Joshua Unruh          TEEN Agents in The Plundered Parent Protocol 

Jessie Sanders          Into The Flames (Grover Cleveland Academy Book 1)

Keith Robinson       Island of Fog (Book 1)

S.M. Boyce              The Grimoire: Lichgates

Roger Eschbacher    Dragonfriend (Leonard the Great)

Brian Clopper          Graham the Gargoyle (Cascade)

Christine Locke       Open Door (The Legacy Series)

S.R. Johannes          Untraceable (The Nature of Grace, Book 1)

 

And since it’s a party, there must be treats, right? So, to celebrate our first Tag Party, I’m giving away a free ebook! You can choose either A Light In the Darkness or its sequel which is coming soon (I still haven’t released its name!) To win, tag all the books on the list and leave me a comment here letting me know you’re a Tag Party pro. Bonus points if you tweet about it or give us a shout out on facebook. Don’t forget to include the link when you share, that way your friends can find us and I’ll know who to watch for the win!  The more taggers we have playing, the easier it will be for our friends to find these fabulous books on Amazon next time they’re hunting for a great book. I will choose one winner at the end of the week. Let the games begin!

Friday, Indie Authors, Roger Eschbacher, Writing, writing advice

Ask an Author: Roger Eschbacher

Ask an Author by Roger Eschbacher

Hey you guys! My name is Roger Eschbacher and I write cartoons for a living. These days I’m working on two shows – The Littlest Pet Shop and Scooby Doo, Mystery Incorporated. I have a lot of fun writing animation, but I have even more fun writing books for kids. I’m a published picture book author and just this past fall I published my first middle-grade fantasy novel, Dragonfriend.

Over the years I’ve been asked to do signings and readings at book fairs, book stores, and in classrooms. When I’m finished reading from my books, I’ll take questions from kids in the audience. Here are three of the more popular ones –

Q: I want to be an author. How do I get started?

A: Before you become a writer, you need to be a reader; a hardcore reader. Reading needs to become one of the things you like to do as much as playing video games, riding your bike, or baking cookies. I call this kind of reading “pleasure reading” as opposed to the kind of reading you have to do in school. When I was a kid, I was seldom seen without a book. I loved reading then and I love reading now. Without exception, every author that I’ve ever met or read about is an avid reader who both loves books and reads for fun. They’ve been this way ever since they were kids, too.

Why is it important to be a hardcore reader before you’re a writer? Because you learn how to write your stories by reading how skilled authors write their stories. You learn what good dialogue looks like because you read books where you like what the characters are saying and how they are saying it. You learn how to describe a location or an action sequence because you read books that do this so well it’s almost like having a movie playing in your head. You learn what you like to read and why you like to read it and after a while you develop the confidence necessary to give writing a try yourself. It’s as simple as that. Not all readers become authors, but all authors are readers.

Q: Do you make a lot of money writing books?

A: Some authors make a lot of money, most do not. While I would certainly like to have the kind of success that J.K. Rowling has experienced, that’s not the reason why I write books. I do it because I have no choice. My head is full of all kinds of stories and the only way I can get them out of there is to write them down. I love to write and I love the idea that people out there, total strangers, will read my stories and, hopefully, enjoy them. That’s what keeps me writing despite the fact that I can’t afford a castle in Scotland. Not yet, anyway.

Q: Books (novels) are long! I don’t think I could ever write anything that big. How do you do it?

A: You’re right. Books, especially novels, can be very long. The way I handle the writing of a novel is to be organized and disciplined. Once I come up with an idea that sounds fun, I write a one or two page outline. I don’t go crazy into detail, just some descriptive paragraphs that help me figure out the beginning, middle, and end of the story. I list characters that come to mind and interesting settings in these paragraphs, too. These are notes to myself about what I want to write.

Then, I divide the outline up into chapters (usually 20-25). I’ll have a paragraph or so of description in each of these chapters. If this is sounding complicated to you, it really isn’t. By breaking a big thing like a novel into smaller, manageable bits, it makes it easier to give yourself permission to start writing. Writing little bits at a time isn’t as scary as the idea of writing a full novel. Everyone can write little bits.

When you’re first starting out, you don’t need to know everything about being an author or how to write a book. You just need to be brave and start writing. You’ll learn by doing, by figuring out what works and what doesn’t work as you go along. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you learn from them, mistakes help you to get better.

Then, I start writing. The way I motivate myself is by setting word count goals. My every day, non-deadline goal is 1000 words a day. This sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. A thousand words usually works out to around four double-spaced pages (I use MS Word). You could choose a smaller goal of fifty or one hundred words a day and still make some very good progress.

In a recent interview with famous author Stephen King, famous author Neil Gaiman summed it up nicely:
“I think the most important thing I learned from Stephen King I learned as a teenager, reading King’s book of essays on horror and on writing, Danse Macabre. In there he points out that if you just write a page a day, just 300 words, at the end of a year you’d have a novel. It was immensely reassuring – suddenly something huge and impossible became strangely easy. As an adult, it’s how I’ve written books I haven’t had the time to write, like my children’s novel Coraline.”

In short, if you write enough little bits, you can eventually string them all together and end up with a big old honkin’ book. That’s how I tricked myself into writing my first novel.

You can find out more about Roger Eschbacher and his books at his website, TheNovelProject.com

 

book reviews, fantasy, Indie Authors, Roger Eschbacher, you gotta read

You Gotta Read: Dragonfriend

Dragonfriend by Roger Eschbacher

Though I enjoyed reading this adventure set in the middle of King Arthur’s Camelot, don’t be deceived.  This is not just another knight’s tale!  The young page, Leonard, serves a knight who is more gentle than brave and he longs to lift them both out of the low position they hold in the kingdom.  While other knights fight dragons and feast at the king’s table, Sir Ronald chases off crows from gardens and then dines on a skinny goose in his crumbling, half finished castle.  Leonard devises a plan to elevate his master when he meets a desperate dragon seeking a knight to end his misery.  When the plan goes horribly wrong, Leonard finds himself on a dangerous quest to redeem them all and in the process uncovers a plot to end Camelot for good.  Can this unlikely hero save the day?

My Thoughts

Marvelous work by the fabulous Roger Eschbacher!  This book is fun, funny and quite an adventure!  Although he begins with a well-known legend in the form of Camelot, the author takes the reader into a whole new realm of creatures and magic we have not seen before.  Even some of the most vicious creatures are creative and endearing in this version of the fabled kingdom.

I know boys and girls alike will find this story fascinating and fun.  My daughter might complain that it gets a bit “yucky” during the battle scenes, but not more than would cause any normal fifth grade boy to yell out “cool!” as he reads through it.  In turn, the boy in my house might not appreciate the innocent crush Leonard has on Maiden Glennys, but my daughter will eat it up.  A marvelous balance that is hard to create as an author and I believe Eschbacher has done it superbly.

Where to Get It
Just click on the format of your choice

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Print
Barnes & Noble Nook
Barnes & Noble Print
Smashwords 

Want More?
Roger will stop by tomorrow to share some of the most common questions he gets from young readers.  Did I mention that Roger is not only an incredibly talented author, but that he is a totally cool writer who has worked with cartoons like Scooby Doo and The Littlest Pet Shop?  Come back tomorrow and see what he has to say to aspiring writers – like YOU!

Gotta read,

Heather