Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Blog Tour & Guest Post : Lauren Carr

It is my pleasure to have Lauren Carr as my guest today:

Five Best Tips for Authors 

By Lauren Carr 

“What advice would you give to a budding writer?”

Without any doubt, this is the question I am most often asked. Depending on my mood, or what may be on my mind at that moment, I may not always give the same answer. So, here, I have comprised my most FA (Frequent Answers)!

1) Write every day. Even if you aren’t feeling like it or don’t think the words you are typing on your laptop are literary gems--write. Athletes have to train every day. Even though you may only be exercising your mental and creative muscles, you are training to. Also, just like athletes, you can’t kick back and let yourself go after having “made it.” You need to continue training even after you have finished writing your masterpiece—and getting it released.

Just like with athletes, the more writing you do, the better you will get. Also, you will be surprised when you go back to read stuff that you had thought was less than adequate at the time you wrote it. Out of that pile of rocky words, you could find a shiny gem!

Several years ago, I wrote the rough draft of a book that I knew I would not be publishing before I even got halfway through it. The mystery and plotline were good, but there was a problem with the characters. Years later, after completing Shades of Murder, I realized that this book was the perfect vehicle for the first Lovers in Crime Mystery. In a matter of days, I edited the rough draft I had written and released it as Dead on Ice.

2) Read. It is easy for writers to want to spend every spare moment they have creating their own literary masterpieces. Yet, the truth of the matter is that there is no better way to learn how to be a great writer than to read what has already been written—whether that writing is good or bad.

As an editor, I once worked with a writer who had a serious issue with stopping everything when she introduced a new character to tell her readers that character’s entire backstory. I explained her problem to her many times but she failed to understand what I was trying to tell her until she read a book in which another writer did the exact same thing. Seeing her mistake made by another writer showed her what she was doing wrong and she’s never had this issue again.

3) Write what you want to write, not what’s hot right now. When you write what you know and are passionate about, the words will come naturally, which will make for easy reading for your readers. However, if you write what is selling right now, or what you think will get you a big publisher or agent or movie deal, then the words will not come so easily because—wait for it—those words aren’t yours. They’re the words of publishers, agents, and movie producers. this is one sure way to get writer’s block!

4) Live Life. By nature, writers are introverts. That’s why self-promotion is so hard for us. It is extremely easy for us to retreat into our literary world. While you may be churning out great work, you also risk getting out of touch with the world around you—which contains a wealth of inspiration for your current and future work-in-progress.

My greatest story ideas have come from getting out there, meeting people, and learning things about the world around me. My plotline for Real Murder was the result of falling off a horse and getting a concussion. The germ of my idea for A Small Case of Murder came from a conversation with the owner of an antique shop.

5) If you want a career in writing, treat your writing like a career. That means embracing my tips above and then some. If you have a day job, make time to write in the evening—just like you would if you had a second job. Approach your writing as a second job that you want to make your primary career. That means embracing all those little unpleasant tasks that come with any career—like self-promotion, learning new writing techniques, and taking advice from those who have gone before you—even if you may not like it.

This last tip may seem like a “duh, yeah!” piece of advice, but I can’t tell you how many talented writers I have worked with who were in positions that I would have killed for when I graduated from high school and/or college and wanted to be an author. More than one protégé were in positions in which they had parents, grandparents, or spouses bank rolling them while they pursued their dreams—only to have them play around on social media, write a few pages of their work-in-progress and then ask me to meet them for lunch to ask why their careers are going nowhere.

The difference between a hobby and a career is in the attitude. The writer who dives into the world of writing and publishing, learning how to identify his own darlings so that he can slay them before they go to the editor (even though it’s not pretty and fun!) and investing the time in learning the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of book publishing will end up with a career as an author—and loving it! 


Author's Bio

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Here is information on the latest of her books and a giveaway:

Synopsis

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add on Goodreads

Book Trailer:







a Rafflecopter giveaway



3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Christa, for inviting me to your blog to give 5 tips for writers. As always, a pleasure to be here! Here's wishing each of your followers luck in the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure Lauren! Love the trailer too!

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